4 Month Mark!

Hello Everybody!

 
Can you even BELIEVE that I’ve been gone for four months already? I can’t. It really shocks me. It’s the weirdest thing because everyone was totally right: It looks SO LONG looking forward, and feels SO SHORT looking back. And I have this weird thing where I feel like I’ve been here for my whole life but I feel like I know NOTHING about missionary work at the same time. Strange. Also, we get to go to this fair today (more on that later) and so last night I was just making sure my regular clothes fit still… You know… Being a missionary, we don’t wear pants that much. But it was the strangest thing. When I was wearing my pants and normal shoes and t shirt around the apartment I really missed those normal things. I think that’s the hardest part… I don’t get too homesick, necessarily (sorry), and I don’t really miss going to work or school or anything (well, I kind of am fibbing about that because I love school), but sometimes the hardest thing is just not being able to do normal things like wear grey corduroy pants and cool shoes.

But man, does that sound trunky or WHAT?! I promise I’m not. It’s just crazy how little milestones make you really take a long, hard look at what you’re doing with yourself. Being out four months now, I realize that I only have 14 left. That’s just barely over a year. A LOT can happen in a year. But, if you’re complacent, you can easily waste a year and have just about nothing to show for it. I’ve taken a good survey of where I’m at and where I want to be, and I’m excited to really hit the ground running with all these new students coming in.

So, about the new students. HOLY HECK THIS PLACE IS INSANE. Seriously?! There is a State College legend which I will now relate as overly dramatic as possible.

Since the dawn of time…
(Well, the beginning of Pennsylvania State University)
There have been students from all places. High, low, sideways, and slantways.
They come in all shapes, sizes, and colours. 
Then, in the biggest weekend of the year (second only to football weekends) they have FLOODED THE STREETS. Children hanging out of car windows, traffic bumper to bumper, and generations of Penn State Alumni reminiscing on the “good ole college days.” Fraternities and sororities plaguing the streets and more alcohol than has ever been consumed in one location at one time.
So what can handle all these students and their new school year needs?
WALMART.

Okay… I’m kind of sick of trying to be creative because, let’s face it, that was seriously lacking in any sort of stupid humour that I may have once had. Well, let’s pretend I was funny at one point. 

But seriously. The rumour has it that the Walmart that is just about 15 minutes of a walk from my apartment brings in more revenue in this ONE WEEKEND than any other Walmart in the nation for the whole year. 

They bring employees from all Walmarts in from a 100 miles radius. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Welcome to Pennsylvania, kids. Walmart rules this world. I’ll have you know that during the Walmart pandemonium, we walked past Target and there was near to nobody there in comparison. Has everyone lost their minds? Target is easily far better than Walmart on every account. 

What does this have to do with missionary work? Well, pretty much nothing. But I’ll get back to it.

So, we have the say, 50,000 people just hoarding in State College for this one weekend which made it super difficult to do anything productive. The buses were about 45 minutes behind schedule and traffic on Atherton (the main road in State College) was backed up as clear as your eye can see. Which isn’t very far, I suppose, considering there’s hills and whatnot. But for dramatic effect we’ll stick with it.

I often found myself thinking “why in the world did I want people to come back here?” It’s been so crowded and hectic that it’s been hard to talk to anyone, really. Which is frustrating because this is PRIME TIME to be teaching. Anyone who is a student or has ever been a student (AKA anyone who can read this because how else would you read it if you hadn’t ever been a student?) knows that the sweet spot for free time is right after classes start when you don’t really have homework yet. We’ve actually gotten a few potentials this week, which was a huge blessing, but we’re trying to find a time to meet with them and it’s been pretty hard. There is one girl I’m pretty excited about, though.

We were out on campus during our approved time to proselyte and there was a girl we started talking to. Her name is Kelsey. She told us that she’s pretty much born and raised Catholic, but that her parents are two separate religions. She told us that she comes from a divorced household, so something that is very important is to find someone and stick with them. Without going into too much detail, I’m sure most of you know that this was a perfect opportunity for me to testify of what I know to be true. I told her about temples and eternal marriage and that happiness is available to all who seek it. Sometimes, when things aren’t perfect in our lives, we may find ourselves thinking that it’s nearly impossible to tell others that it can work for them. I’ve seen that in myself. But as soon as she started talking about wanting a lasting marriage, I was overcome by the Spirit and I told her that it is possible to have that. I told her that the Gospel can bless her, and that even when things aren’t ideal in a family situation, that we are given opportunities to make our individual situations centred on Christ and, well, beautiful. And just in case anybody is unclear… I KNOW THAT. It is so hard sometimes for me to feel like things can work out because the world tells us that it can’t. But, the Atonement is real, and it is available to all who will receive it. What a blessing!

Well, other than that I’ve kind of got a scattered list of things that I have written down throughout the week that would be fun to tell you all about.

We had an emergency exchange that had to happen with Sister Ferrin and Sister White this week. Sister K and Sister Yates were supposed to go on one but Sister K got pretty sick. So, we adjusted, and Sister Hurdsman went up to Lock Haven with Sister Ferrin. I was pretty bummed because I was supposed to get to go on exchange with Sister Ferrin this transfer but… I guess the Lord knew that we would get way distracted and just talk the whole time or something. But, it was a blast with Sister White, as usual, and we took some good pictures. We learned how to tie ties at a mutual activity based on missionary work that we were invited to. I’ll try to send the pictures home in my next hour of email. 

This adorable little couple, the Norton’s, took Sister Hurdsman and I out to dinner this week. They totally spoiled us. They took us to Red Lobster and insisted that we get ANYTHING we wanted, and dessert to take home. They’re the best. They also made sure we didn’t leave without some little lights to go on our keychains and… Mace. Hahaha. So I carry Mace now, everyone. Stay back, you’re not my dad! (Rad Kids reference, anyone? No? NO? Okay okay. I’m not funny anymore. I get it.)

I had a sad realization. The Olympics is going to happen this Winter. I’m a little depressed about it. I won’t be able to update my most cherished Pinterest board with pictures of awesome athletes and curling…. AHHH I’m getting shivers just thinking about the Olympics. Okay. Before I start crying, I’m gonna stop talking about that. 

Side note… It’s kind of pathetic because I cry about the Olympics but not at a lot of other things that probably are more deserving of tears. Strange.

Last week we had an FHE activity where we played Pictionary. We were writing down different things to draw on pieces of paper and someone was asking for clarification on what we could write. Her response was, “Just nothing inappropriate.” So, thinking I was funny, I wrote a paper that said “Something Inappropriate,” and asked if I could put it in. She actually said yes, which was surprising because sometimes the FHE committee lays down the law on all things fun. Then, we were playing the game, and President Hanscom, the branch president, started drawing this picture of a man’s face with a speech bubble that had symbols in it like this: $%&!@. My competitive side far outraced my logical side and before I could realize that it was actually my paper and that I wasn’t allowed to guess, I screamed, “SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE!” President Hanscom turned around, exasperated by the fact that I had guessed it. Within about 0.00002 seconds I realized that I totally cheated and was pretty much doubled over in laughter for the next five minutes. So, that was fun.

So, the fair that we’re going to today is called the Grange Fair. It’s basically the biggest, trashiest, most ridiculous county fair that happens in like the butt crack of Pennsylvania. (Am I allowed to say that? I don’t know but it’s so so so true). It is an experience, from what we hear. Nobody in PA has teeth. And they wear far too little clothing. And EVERYTHING is deep fried. Oreos. Butter. Kool-Aid. You name it. I can hardly stand how excited I am. AND I GET TO WEAR NORMAL CLOTHES!! (Or, as all the “cool” missionaries call it, “Non-Pros”… Meaning non-proselyting clothes. Man, missionaries are so ridiculous. And I totally am one of them).

Judging by the lack of real spiritual experiences this week, I hope you recognize how weirdly slow it’s been. It’s been fun because, let’s be honest, have I ever been in a situation that is lame and not laughed at it? Not really. It’s just be slow and simultaneously hectic. But I guess that’s just how some weeks are on the mission. Hopefully the next week will have some better spiritual stories to tell. Scratch that. Next week WILL have some better spiritual stories to tell. 

I love you all. I mean that sincerely. I hope you know that I think about you so much and I really do pray for you all day long, every day. Good luck to all those who are going back to school. If you want a great talk to read/watch, go watch “Remember Lot’s Wife” on speeches.byu.edu.

By the way, family, did you watch “His Grace is Sufficient?” Did I actually tell you to watch it or did I just think I did? Either way, watch it if you didn’t. I want to hear what you think of it. 

Pictures on their way. 🙂
photo below of Sister Hanseen and Elder Trotman 
Also Sister White and Sister Hanseen impersonating Elders
— 

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

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4 Month Mark!

Another Day Another Dollar…

Okay that title is stupid because it’s more like “another day, no more dollars on my mac card.” But it’s fine. 

This week has been pretty interesting. There have been some super huge highlights and super huge low lights as well. (By the way, why is “highlights” all one word, but “low lights” is two? English is so ridiculous). On Tuesday this week we had Zone Training, which, as I’ve said before, is one of my favorite things as a missionary. There are a lot of other missionaries that have been out a long time and they just despise zone meetings. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of them. We talked about “hard” areas, and why they may seem hard. It was kind of perfect for me because, to be totally honest, I was FED UP with this area this week. I love it here. I love the people and the missionaries, and it’s the best thing ever to have a Target within walking distance. But it has felt slower than ever this week. Whitey was having some stuff come up because his business has been picking up a lot and didn’t show up to church this week for the third Sunday in a row. Sadly, this means that we’re going to have to start over on the reactivation process. I don’t care so much that we won’t have the number of 1 reactivation this week as much as it literally shattered my heart into pieces on Sunday when the people who were supposed to bring Whitey to work walked in without him. I haven’t experienced feelings like that before. I just want so badly for him to be there because I know what it can do for him, and then when he wasn’t there I was devastated. I couldn’t even talk to Sister Hurdsman about it because I was afraid I would lose it. Anyway, the things we talked about in Zone Training were really helpful and I learn so much from all the missionaries there.

I have this dumb thing where if someone does something cool or I appreciate a certain characteristic they have in particular, I feel like I need to tell them. Well, there’s an elder in my zone named Elder Zumwalt. Every time we’ve had a zone meeting there’s just been really good comments from him. And this last one, I could just SEE in his countenance that the Atonement has really been implemented in his life. So, I was super awkward and I told him that and thanked him for his example… And I probably seemed like a freak but I just felt like I should! Then he told me about this talk that he watched a few years ago that just changed his entire view of the Atonement. It’s called “His Grace is Sufficient” by Brad Wilcox. You can watch it on speeches.byu.edu. Family and friends (but especially family), will you do me a favor? Will you sit down and watch this devotional? It truly touched me so sincerely and deeply. It helped me to really understand grace. And I think that is something that would comfort all of us who may be feeling a little inadequate… I know it helped me. Cool. Do it. You’ll LOVE it.

Speaking of devotionals, I watched a devotional by the one and only…. D. Kelly Ogden! He gave a FANTASTIC devotional at BYU about a month and a half ago and I just watched it during my computer study time. It’s called “The Miracle of Repentance.” I actually wrote him and Sister Ogden a letter, but I sent it home in a different envelope because I didn’t have their address. Dad, can you run that over to them when you get it? Thanks, that would be awesome.

That actually just made me think of how grateful I am for all the adults that have shaped me. I feel so blessed to have grown up in two incredible wards that loved and accepted all of my imperfections and flaws. I think that everyone, at one point in their life, experiences that cliche` of “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” (thank you “Parking Lot”). But I was realizing that a lot this week. There are some amazing people in my life. I think that one of the things I’m most excited about for eternity is that I’ll have the chance to just talk to everyone I love for as long as I want and thank them for being them. I’m just doing my best to get a head start on that now. 🙂

So, I’ve got a list of funnies.

First, I was driving the bus…. Okay jokes we all know I was just sitting on the bus talking to nobody because it’s really hard to people who are nonexistant. Anyway, on the bus, I was gazing out the window somewhat absentmindedly when I saw a license plate on a car that read: “BARFARM.”

UMMM.

So that’s either “Bar Farm” or “Barf Arm.”

Whichever way, that’s stupid. And made me laugh a LOT.

Second, I don’t think I’ve told you this before but freakin’ Mennonites live at my apartment complex and do all the yard work and stuff. It’s so bizarre because they ride these little mini tractor things around and they wear straw hats and handmade pants and then have huge, blond beards. But then, they’re almost always smoking a cigarette. So it’s just a weird picture. Anyway, I call it “Mennonite Monday” because it seems like every single Monday they’re just out there cruisin’ along on their little tractor things. This week was so funny, though, because Sister Hurdsman and I were just sitting in our study room… well, studying. Then we heard voices outside our window and looked out and there was like an army of Mennonites just standing there looking at us! Okay. They weren’t looking at us. But they were laying compost and I definitely snagged some pictures (which I would send home but I inevitably always forget something on P Day and today it happened to be my card reader).

Third, this guy got on the bus the other day and he sat all the way in the back. But then he had this tablet that was playing some beats and then he just freestyled the whole bus ride. It was so strange/awesome. Except his language was pretty foul so that was lame.

Now for some cool experiences

First, we got to do a church tour with Helen, the lady who called the other night when she found the Book of Mormon at the dog park. It was incredible. I felt so blessed to be able to be a part of it. The Spirit was so strong and there were many times where she was moved to tears. My favorite part was when we were in the chapel at the end and she was just super emotional. Then, she said “I could be a part of a church like this if it would accept me.” We all freaked out. Elder Vassallo was like crying his eyes out. And so was Sister Hurdsman. I have no heart, so I wasn’t crying. But I was feeling the Spirit so strongly. We just let her sit in there for a minute afterward by herself and she was like “I think there’s a conversation I need to have.” So she prayed for a bit and then came out. It was awesome. She is incredible.

Second, I got some solid letters this week. I was really so grateful for everyone who wrote me because I was having a little bit of a tough time. One of my favorites was from Betsy Johansen. She told me of some miraculous experiences at camp, and told me all about how helpful and fun Nyia and Gillian were. I’m so glad that they had a good time up there. I miss Girl’s Camp… Can you believe that? I totally do. 🙂

Third, this old man got on the bus one day and said two super nice things to me. The first was “I want it to snow as white as your teeth in your smile!” Then, after a few more minutes he asked, “Is Julie Andrews your grandmother?” to which I replied, “No… Why do you ask?” He just simply said, “Well, you just really remind me of her.” THAT’S THE BEST COMPLIMENT EVER. I love Julie Andrews.

Forth, one night for dinner, Sister Hurdsman and I decided to check out the farmer’s market downtown. There’s lots of Amish people there. I got some local wildflower honey and a spaghetti squash from the Amish people and they are so yummy. It definitely was a highlight for this week.

Fifth, on Friday Sister Hurdsman and I were kind of overwhelmed. All we have done all week is sit on buses and walk around talking to nobody. That shouldn’t have been so overwhelming because that’s pretty much all I’ve done my whole mission, but it was. We didn’t have a dinner scheduled with anyone, either. So it was just a long day. Then, last minute, Brother Owen (1st counselor in the branch) called and asked if we wanted to go to Texas Roadhouse. So… That wasn’t even a question. And it was so perfect because we just needed SOMETHING to make our day less bland. The Lord looks out for us. 

All the students will be coming back soon and I’m really excited for that. Hopefully we can actually get a teaching pool. I feel like I’ve never even taught a real lesson still. I looked back on my first transfer’s planner and realized that I started training a new missionary when I had only ever taught three lessons to investigators. That’s just nuts. But the work is pressing forward. I really do feel so blessed. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, but that’s normal. I can feel the prayers and sincere thoughts all the time, and I really appreciate all that everyone at home does for me and for those around us. This Gospel is the truest thing I know. I’m so grateful to have it. I’m ecstatic to be a missionary, even though I’m not a morning person and I’m already kind of over wearing skirts all the time. It’s worth it. Every little bit of struggle just makes me that much stronger and that much better. 

Keep the faith, everyone. I’m rooting for you.

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
Another Day Another Dollar…

Hey Everybody!

I was super happy to get the Word of the Ward in the mail this week. That was awesome. I LOVE reading about my fellow E6-ers who are out serving the Lord. It was awesome. I shot off a few letters to some of them this week as well. It’s crazy how different all the areas are. Like.. Sometimes I read Alex White’s letters and I’m thinking “HOLY HECK I’M SO JEALOUS!” Because… First of all, there is not a single area in my mission where missionaries cover more than one ward. It sounds like they’re super busy. But I’m so happy for her and all my other friends out serving in similar areas.

That is something that has been interesting to me, though. I have really been wondering why different areas are so much slower in Church growth than others. Boston is NOT that far away from here, yet it’s a world of a difference as far as membership goes. And even in Philadelphia.. They are getting a temple for Heaven’s sake! (hahaha heaven’s sake… so funny). But my mission, geographically, is HUGE. I’m in the middle of my mission, and it takes about 3 hours to drive to the mission home. So people on the far end spend about 5 hours driving to Pittsburgh. It’s just crazy. And I’m pretty sure Pittsburgh is not really anywhere near getting a temple any time soon. Maybe I’m just being pessimistic, but I really think it’s more realistic than anything. It kind of makes me feel a little special because, well… I’ll say this. It is so tough when the work is slow. I just keep looking for little miracles. And I find them every single day. Even when it’s tough. But enough of comparing my mission to other missions. Because it doesn’t really matter. I am HERE and I am MEANT to be. It’s up to me to make sure I keep recognizing that.

So now for some great things that happened this week.

We were walking down the street and there was an Indian guy in front of us. That’s not really that abnormal. But he totally smelled like the chalk stuff that you throw at the Holi Color Festival in Spanish Fork. It was crazy. You know how sometimes smells just take you instantly back to a memory you have and it’s like… smelling de ja vu? Yeah. That’s what happened.

Our next door neighbors are Indian. Their names are Lavish and Alloch (I’m just guessing on the spelling here) and they are super cool. On Saturday night, Sister Hurdsman and I were walking home from the bus stop that is down the road from our house because we have to be obedient and not get home 30 minutes early but the buses run at stupid times in the summer. (That was the best run-on sentence yinz ever did read). When we got closer to the apartment, we realized that Lavish and Alloch were in front of us, so we walked the remainder of the way together. We asked them why they were walking and they told us that there isn’t much to do on weekends so they just thought they’d walk home from the store instead of taking the bus. So… They go to Penn State and they don’t party?! That is a RARITY. We’ve been seeing them around pretty consistently, and they are super friendly, so we hope to introduce them to the Gospel soon.

I had an experience on the bus the other day that is worth sharing. I was sitting on the right side of the bus and these two girls got on. One had short, blond hair and the other one had pink hair. I didn’t look too closely at them until about five minutes later when I realized that the girl with short, blond hair was wearing shorts and short sleeves, and her legs and wrists were just covered in cuts. They were very distinctively self-harm cuts, and I felt a pit grow in my stomach. I was almost in tears just thinking how sad I was for her. I sat there, wishing there was something that I could do to help her realize that she has worth. I knew nothing about her; I didn’t know her personality or what she had been through in her life. But this I knew: She is a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves her SO much. I realized that she, more than anyone around me, probably needed the Gospel. So I got out of my seat, moved over, and went to talk to those two girls. Upon talking to them, they told me that they were Pagan and “Satanist,” as the blond girl called herself. But I got them to talk to me. I did everything I could to help them feel like someone cared about them. I gave them mormon.org cards, and I have been praying that they at least recognize that they are loved by someone. Who knows if anything will come of it anytime soon? I am praying that I helped them in at least a little way.

We have been getting records from Church Headquarters of people who, at one point or another, were in the branch. We’re supposed to try this whole list of ways to contact them to try and locate their current address to transfer their records. This is what I call “stalking,” and it’s what missionaries do when there is literally not a soul in State College. There was a cool story with one of them, though. There was this guy we ran into on the street during my first transfer and he told us he used to be a Mormon but “quit right before receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood.” He is one of the people we got a record for. We gave him a call and got no answer, unsurprisingly. About an hour later, he returned our call and told us where he was and that he would actually like his records transferred. WHAT?! That is unheard of! We were super excited and got ahold of the elders that cover Middletown, near Harrisburg. Well, guess which elder is there? ELDER HALE!! So I totally got to talk to the Hale’s cousin for a few minutes while telling him about this less active that they were going to be able to track down. He told me that it was the best news they had gotten all day. He also said, “Sister Hanseen, do you know what my planner said today? ‘Trust the Lord.’ And nothing happened!” Hahaha. I totally know how that goes, though. You work super hard all day and pretty much nothing happens. Then, at the last second, a miracle either happens or you recognize one that had happened, and your long, hot, sweaty, frustrating, boring, terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad day was all worth it.

I got a package from the Hoopes this week and it was so darling. There was a picture that little Noelle drew of me on a trampoline. 🙂 Along with some hand sanitizer and other goodies. I got a great letter from Grandma, as well. Those were some good highlights.

Sister Hurdsman and I are having a BLAST together. Seriously. We just laugh all day, and I do stupid things that I think are funny and she doesn’t think I’m TOO crazy. I feel like I can be myself a lot more this transfer than I did last transfer. It’s crazy still that I will probably be in State College for a third of my mission, because that makes me realize how short this really is. I love it here. I definitely miss home, and I’m excited to go back to school when I get home (weird, huh?), but I am so happy to be out here doing the work.

This is the true Church. I wish that I could just sit down with everyone that I love that has lost sight of that and tell them how much I love them, but more importantly, how much Heavenly Father loves them. But this will have to suffice. Christ lives. He loves us. And nothing that we do will EVER put us out of reach of the infinite healing power of the Atonement. It takes a LOT of faith to be able to depend on something that can, at times, seem very abstract. But as Ether says, “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” Our faith is meant to be tried. But there is a relief from earthly sorrows and struggles. It is through Christ Jesus that we have bee promised everlasting happiness and eternal life.

I know this. I love this. I live this to the best of my abilities. And I hope and pray that all of you will too. I know that you’ll be able to recognize the healing that comes from depending on the Lord.

I miss you all. I pray for you all. I LOVE YOU ALL. Have a fantastic week!

— 

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

 

 
Hey Everybody!

Training Round 2

OH man, everyone! I have SO MUCH TO TELL YOU THIS WEEK. And I had like a lot of really awesome emails from really awesome people that I just spent half an hour reading, so I’m gonna do my best to give you every detail of all the amazing things. 

First off is a big change… I have a new companion! Her name is Sister Hurdsman and she is from St. George, Utah. Originally, Sister Kingsford was going to be training her and Sister Yates and I were staying together. But after a few phone calls and a lot of discussions with President Topham, he concluded that he wanted Sister Hurdsman to come to University 1st with me and Sister Yates to go to University 2nd with Sister Kingsford. Kind of nuts. So I have my second daughter. 😉 But SHE IS AWESOME. The past 48 hours have just been a riot. We get along so well and I know that she is going to do great things in this area. I kind of feel like the mother hen of State College right now, though, because I seriously had to deliver all this news from President Topham and we had to move Sister Hurdsman and Sister Yates yesterday and I had to like talk with all the sisters individually (well, didn’t HAVE to, but I felt very strongly that I should). So it was kind of like intense babysitting for like two days. But I think things are going to be really great with Sister Hurdsman and I. It does mean that I will probably be here for another 3 months solid. So…. 1/3 of my mission is going to be in State College, most likely. That’s kind of crazy! Longer than I expected. But I told President in my entrance interview that he can do whatever he needs to with me. And he has definitely held me to that commitment. 🙂

So, here’s the lo-down on the State College missionaries (as if you all care… but I’m gonna give it anyway)

University 1st: Me and Sister Hurdsman. Whaddup. We’re awesome.

University 2nd: Sister Kingsford and Sister Yates… Yeah. I don’t know. That will be interesting. Luckily I’m next door.

State College Elders: Elder Vassallo and Elder Trotman. Elder Trotman in barely 18 and is from Colorado. He’s like super stylin’ and half black so he just has all this cool swag and stuff. And we’re gonna be best friends because he’s coming to BYU. He has better style than me, though.. Awkward. Actually not really. Cause I don’t have any style. Anyway, Elder V and Elder T get along SO well. I’m pretty sure they’re just loving this situation. And I swear Elder Vassallo has never been happier. Like you can see it in his countenance that he is just loving this. I think he learned a lot from Elder Howell, and definitely loves him, but him and Elder Trotman are just a powerhouse companionship.

Bellefonte Elders: Elder Clark (who stayed) and Elder Sheffer. They are just a delight. Elder Clark is way more himself this transfer, too. It’s awesome. I love those elders. They pretty much are just goofy and hilarious.

So… That’s it. 

We had to pass off our investigator to the AP’s in the Michigan Lansing Mission this week. He’s moving to Michigan State, and I got in contact with the mission office, and the elders there gave him a call and are going to help him move in this week sometime. It was so weird though because I got to talk to them on the phone and I was like… “Uhhh so this is kind of weird but here’s all the things we taught him. Oh and do you know: Stuart McGraw, Levi Yeck, and Jordan Hill?” and then he said “they’re all like my best friends,” and I said “well, sweet. I know them.” It was just strange. We’ll probably have to give them a call tomorrow again because our investigator asked us to get in contact with them. Anyway. I felt kind of apostate because I was talking to people in MICHIGAN. But it was cool.

Before Sister Hurdsman and I got put together, President told us to go on a temporary exchange. So, Sister Hurdsman came with me for a day and it was kind of awkward because  Sister Kingsford didn’t really know what was going on and kept asking when the exchange was over and I was like… later. Not now. Anyway, Sister Hurdsman got a blessing from Elder Trotman and Elder Vassallo and it was just so cool. I LOVE THE PRIESTHOOD. It is such a blessing to have that power on the earth, so that Heavenly Father can talk to us more, and help us feel comforted. We were all downtown and didn’t know where to do it so I basically busted us into some random classroom in a building on Penn State campus. Don’t tell. But I did. It was kind of awesome.
 

OKAY NOW FOR THE CRAZIEST STORY EVER.

So, a few days ago the elders came to pick up some cleaning supplies (Elder Trotman is a clean freak) and they told us how they had gone to this dog park and given a guy a BOM just because of a prompting. They set a return appointment and it was really awesome. THEN, the night after that, we got a call from a random number. This lady named Hellen was on the phone. She had found a BOM with our number in it at the dog park. she told me how she thought it was interesting that we have an additional Bible, and was intrigued by the cross referencing at the bottom of the pages. I explained how we don’t claim that to be in place of the Bible and that whole shebang. The discussion lead into her asking if we have services, and us giving her information on the time and location of those. She started talking about how she has a lot of questions. She didn’t understand why there are so many different denominations if we all believe in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. She was born and raised Lutheran and is now 82 years old and is having all these questions. 

I had a great opportunity to teach and testify for about 30 minutes. She is going out of town for about a month and asked if she could keep it and read over it, then get back to us to ask questions… It was incredible. I can’t even describe it all, but I’m just so thankful for the Spirit. I called the elders like SCREAMING afterward because it was just so cool. Elder Vassallo was like “well the thing you don’t know about that story is that I wasn’t going to even have that BOM, but when we got out of the car, I looked back inside and it was just sitting, perfectly placed, on the center console. And I just thought ‘I need to take that,’ so I picked it up.” THIS IS THE COOLEST THING EVER. Man, I was just stoked. The Spirit is SO real. And it’s no accident that they went to that dog park. It’s no accident that the specific copy of the Book of Mormon that they happened to have was one of probably three that I have ever written our number in. And it’s no accident that the man they talked to accidentally left the book there. And, even cooler–he still is interested and wants to meet with the elders. It wasn’t just cause he wasn’t interested that he ditched the book on the bench. 🙂

Man. Missions are amazing. And so crazy. I’ve had three companions in three transfers. And things aren’t exactly how I would’ve imagined. But THIS IS THE LORD’S WORK. His hand is in everything, influencing all that I do. I’m so grateful for that. I’m so grateful for the covenant I made at baptism to be like Jesus Christ. I’m doing my best to live up to that. I’ve been thinking about a quote by Elder Uchtdorf this week that I think I’ll just share in closing. 

“This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are
everything to God.” —You Matter to Him

If any of you feel far from Him, or feel like your relationship with Him isn’t as strong as it once was, or as it could be, rest assured that HE IS THERE. He loves you. He loves me. He loves His children. I know that with all my heart and I’m learning it more and more every day. 

Thank you for the prayers, thoughts, well wishes, emails, letters. No effort is wasted, and every prayer counts. I LOVE YOU ALL.

D&C 6:36
— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
Training Round 2