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