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
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Another Day Another Dollar…

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