Oh MAN! This is what Missionary work is supposed to feel like!

OH MAN.

THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY WORK SHOULD FEEL LIKE, PEOPLE.

It’s been a great week. I’ve gone to bed absolutely exhausted every night this week because I’ve just felt like I’ve been putting my heart and soul really into the work. I thought I was doing that before. And honestly, I think I was. But it takes a lot more emotional effort and concentration to be able to balance 4-5 new investigators as opposed to just riding buses all day. In fact, I am starting to build an immunity to the buses. I fall asleep on them ALL the time. The other day I fell asleep for a solid 30 minutes and when I woke up I was doing some serious double-chinning and there was a strange man sitting next to me. Then I freaked out, made sure my companion was still on the bus, then felt super sheepish at the thought of how many people sat down next to the comatose missionary and got up a few stops later when another, more appealing seat option opened up.

Oh man.

So, first off I’ll tell you all the less important things because I still think they’re funny but not as spiritual or whatever.

Well..

I typed that sentence up there ^ and then looked at my planner and realized that I don’t have a whole lot of funny things to write. 

Yesterday when Sister Hurdsman and I were walking, I was telling her a story (that’s what we spend most of our time doing when walking–I tell stories and she laughs at my stupidity) and a giant BUG FLEW ONTO MY FACE. I don’t even know what it was because I immediately started doing one of those freak out dances and swatted it away. I also threw in some violent “pfffffff” noises with my mouth because I was thinking it maybe got into my mouth. Hopefully that was a fun image for all of you…. IT WAS TERRIFYING.

My birthday was funny. Actually, to be honest, it was kind of the worst day of the week. NOT because I didn’t feel loved or anything–because I totally did–but because we literally had NOTHING exciting that happened. It was easily our most dull missionary work day of the week. Which is kind of a bummer for a birthday when you’re a missionary. 
But, all the missionaries went out to lunch to celebrate. We went to this little place called Big Bowl where the whole menu is in Chinese and it’s not a hole-in-the-wall type restaurant, it’s a hole-in-the-GROUND. You would totally miss it if you didn’t know it was there. You have to walk down these sketch-tastic  stairs in the middle of downtown State College. And it only takes cash. And there is usually about one other white person in there. BUT IT’S FREAKIN’ GOOD. Super cheap and super good. Best fried rice I’ve ever had in my life. And guess what? I TOTALLY EAT SPICY FOOD NOW EVERYONE. At least, I’m working on it. There’s this sauce called “Sriracha” (I have no idea how to spell it) and it’s super spicy but I always eat it when I got there. I also bought some sushi today from Wegman’s (it doesn’t even compare to Shoga but whatevah) and ate wasabi on it. So I’m moving up in the world.

Anyway, the elders brought this carrot cake roll thing and candles from Weis (or as we like to call it “we IS.” Bless their hearts. They’re so good to us sisters. Then at the end, Elder Vassallo made everyone give me a compliment and about 2/7 compliments were actually sincere but we’ll just blame it on missionary awkwardness. Haha. No, it was really nice.

Now that I think about it, my birthday was actually the day that I fell asleep on the bus.  Haha. Birthday nap? Woof. 

I also did come home to a huge package from Nana and my NEW WATCH. It’s so pathetic and first worldly but I have to say that I feel so much less stress every time I look at my wrist. So thank you thank you thank you for that!

It’s getting chilly here. I had to go buy some boots and a sweater today because it’s seriously been getting freezing cold. Except then apparently this week it’s supposed to get up to 79 so what the heck? Nobody is ever allowed to tell me that Utah weather is bipolar EVER AGAIN. You’re wrong. WEATHER is just bipolar. The end. Okay cool, glad we settled that.

Here’s some awesome highlights for the week:

(And I’m totally gonna do a list form because we all know I love lists).

  • We had forums on Tuesday and I think that was one of the times that I have really felt like a missionary. This random kid came up to the table and asked what it was all about. I started asking him about his religious background and he said he was raised Catholic but is now pretty much atheist/agnostic. He said he has a hard time believing in something he can’t tangibly feel or see, etc. I started talking to him about the Book of Mormon and I bore super hardcore testimony about prayer and about how much God loves us and actually knows us personally. And we just TALKED. I wasn’t trying to convert him. He wasn’t being rude or argumentative. We were just discussing what questions we had and what we think about things and it was seriously fantastic. He actually ended up taking a Book of Mormon, really wanted to read some of it, and is going to meet with us this week. WHAT THE WHAT?! Some kid comes up and starts off by saying he’s atheist and leaves with “okay, call me this week and we’ll meet up after I’ve read some of this book!” SO AWESOME.
  • I got to talk to Dad on the phone for like 2 minutes! That is a rarity. But for all who were worried or praying or wondering–everything went well with the doctor’s appointment. Nothing to worry about. I’m totally healthy. You won’t be seeing me any time soon. 🙂 AND I got to call home and tell you guys that. It was great.
  • Okay so just to clarify–the person we were setting with a date is from Thailand, not China. Sorry if that was confusing, Dad! But her name is Luna and she is stinkin’ adorable. We set her with a date! She will be baptized on the weekend of October 26th. We’re still working out if it’s going to be Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, but she’s so committed. I’m having a little bit of anxiety about the fact that this transfer ends October 20th and I’ll have been here six months and will be finished with Sister Hurdsman’s training. So… Yeah. Selfish desires, I know. Bottom line.. She’s getting baptized. That’s one more soul that’s closer to Christ. I think that fulfills my purpose pretty exactly. 🙂
  • Jacob had another lesson and he’s doing great! I actually didn’t attend it because his and Luna’s lesson were set at the exact same time so we had to go on a split. OKAY DID YOU HEAR THAT? WE WENT ON A SPLIT. WHAT IS THIS “SPLIT” BUSINESS? WE WERE TOO BUSY TO MEET ALL OUR APPOINTMENTS ON OUR OWN?! My mind has been so blown this week. It’s incredible.
  • The elders met a guy at forums and his name is Jock. We taught him with the elders this weekend and it was awesome. He’s from Kenya and he’s been a Christian his whole life. He told us that meeting with us made him not feel as stressed out has he had been. Elder Vassallo and Elder Trotman are AWESOME teachers. It’s so fun to get to teach with them. Jock recognized the spirit and is meeting with us again this week. 🙂
  • Next week we have a mission tour! Elder Arnold of the Seventy is coming to speak to us. But here’s an awesome part–the night before the conference, he asked if he could come to State College and have a fireside JUST with the young adults here. That means the University Park Branch ALONE. Plus missionaries and investigators. AHHH. It’s awesome. I’m so excited. We’re going to be among just about 50 people with a member of the Seventy. SO cool.
  • There’s a guy in the branch here who told me that the reason he has felt like my last name is so familiar is because his mission president’s wife’s maiden name is Hanseen? What?? Her name now is Jane H. Pugh. Her and her husband were mission presidents of the Harrisburg mission (before it was “translated” as he says) and now they’re temple presidents in Seattle. Family.. any relation? That would be nuts. But who else is named Hanseen?
  • MISSIONARY WORK IS GREAT. Man. I feel like I’m totally probably gonna get transferred since I’m all energized and ready to go now. But it’s awesome. This branch is seriously GETTING it. They just understand member missionary work. I really thought they didn’t for a while but there have been miracles unfolding like I would’ve never expected in a million years. Yesterday, we had an entire fast dedicated to missionary work. And as it would be, all the testimonies were pretty much comprised of the recent converts and their conversion stories. We had investigators at church. The Spirit was seriously working. And miracles are legit, everyone. They happen. I am such a believer.

I miss everyone. Thanks for your love, prayers, and thoughts. It’s really the best. I love you all! Have a great week!

— 

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

 

 
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Oh MAN! This is what Missionary work is supposed to feel like!

BIG WEEK FOLKS!

Sorry – McKann sent this on time… it’s her dad that spaced loading it up in a timely manner….  This is the mail from Monday 9/23.  Enjoy!

OKAY SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED THIS WEEK. And so much is going to happen in this next week. So I’ll start with that.

Tomorrow I hit 5 months. FIVE MONTHS. That’s crazy. Just over a year left. Where has all the time gone?! I can hardly believe it.

Thursday is my 20th birthday. Is that unreal or what? I had the realization this week that I will be in Pennsylvania for my entire 21st year of life. What the heck? That’s awesome. Well, I suppose I won’t if I ever get transferred to Wheeling, West Virginia. Or if I get to fulfill my PPM dreams and be in the first sister companionship to EVER SERVE IN THE JAMESTOWN ZONE. Dun dun dun. Who knows? Not me. But regardless… I’m gonna be old. Actually not really. I always say that and then Elder Vassallo responds with, “You realize that one week after you turn 20, I turn 25… right?” Hahahaha. Whoops. Okay yeah. I’m young. I wouldn’t have even been ALLOWED to be on a mission right now a year ago. What a blessing. I’m part of history! THAT IS SO COOL.

Okay now for this past week. It seriously has been a whirlwind. 

We taught the cutest girl Chunxiao this past Sunday, right? Well, then on Monday she actually came to FHE and had a blast! She brought her friend, Qian, and we ended up teaching her pretty much all of The Restoration. Plan of Salvation, and Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hallway at the chapel. People were everywhere and it was super loud but the spirit was SO STRONG. Sister Chang helped in communication a bit and there were some times where Qian would just stop and say, “Wow. That is so powerful.” YES IT IS! THE GOSPEL IS RAD!

So that was miracle number one. Number two was that on Tuesday we got to go to the Done’s house and do service again. It’s so crazy how all of a sudden I’m on a mission and pretty much my favorite leisure activity is to do yard work. But it’s great. We weeded a ton and then Sister Done fed us all homemade pancakes and buttermilk syrup and it was delicious. That night we got to go to the Activity Days night with the girls in the State College 1st ward as their special guests. They fed us dinner and we shared a message about missionary work and man… I forgot how much energy 11-12 year old girls have. Crazy.

We taught Jacob again! He’s DOING SO WELL. The lesson was a miracle in and of itself. We were told to meet at “the cafe on Fraser Street” which ended up being Dunkin’ Donuts. We met with him and the member who referred him and the member’s wife. There was super loud music playing and it smelled like coffee and there were tons of people but it was still an awesome lesson. We reviewed the Restoration and added in some key scriptures and it was just stellar. He was really, truly understanding. The Spirit was SO strong and we asked some great questions to discern what Jacob truly needs in order to come closer to Christ. He’s already pretty close, but he just has to get some things straightened out as far as doctrine goes. We taught about Joseph Smith and the First Vision and it seriously felt SILENT. The Spirit was really present in helping us stay focused. I had an interesting experience, though. I would sometimes notice that a good song was on and as soon as I would listen for more than a split second, I could feel the Spirit leave me. I would lose my train of thought or forget the question I was going to ask and I had to quickly refocus. It was an eye-opener for me. The Spirit was teaching me a good lesson in helping me understand that it takes effort to stay focused and that Satan is working HARD to distract us. But the lesson ended up great and Jacob is doing amazingly.

We also taught this adorable girl named Luna. She’s dating a less active member from the branch who actually is no longer in State College. She attended church with his family for about a month and really loved how she felt there. She’s from Thailand and she has such a strong faith in Christ. We taught her with a member named Shelby in the theatre studio at Penn State (Shelby has connections there because she’s in costume design). It was an ideal lesson. Shelby had great input. Sister Hurdsman’s confidence in teaching was WAY up. We taught in unity. The Spirit was strong. Luna was SO receptive. And… Here’s the best part…

SHE AGREED TO BE BAPTIZED!!!!!!
Oh my holy heavens above I cannot tell you how excited I am. She is so ready. She wants this more than anything. We’ll be setting her with a baptismal date on Wednesday when we meet with her again.

Family, friends, folks.
This is a DIRECT result of much fasting and prayer from the missionaries and members here and at home. I can just FEEL it. This is the Lord’s work and when we put trust in Him, He blesses us and helps us to be instruments in His hands. I am so excited I can’t even contain myself! THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY WORK SHOULD FEEL LIKE!

We had Zone Conference this week and it was really awesome. As always, I loved seeing missionaries from all over. I got to see Sister Ferrin and that was of course a huge highlight for me. 🙂 And there was a lot of INSPIRED information given to us. It’s been kind of hard because we feel like we get all these rules put down on us but they are so necessary for our success. There is a lot of risk with all the new missionaries coming out and I feel blessed that our mission president is so persistent in keeping us safe and helping us to be the best missionaries we can be, even if the “rules” sometimes seem less fun in the moment. It’s so important. I see blessings from it every day.

One last awesome highlight…

JACOB CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY. Man. Getting people at church seems to be the HARDEST part. But he came. All dressed up. Book of Mormon in hand. It was great. He was reading it during the sacrament passing and was asking really great questions. I’m just so excited for him. He’s going to be a great Mormon. 😉 Haha.

Family. I love you lots. I’m praying for you so much. Thanks for everything everyone does for me. I love you. Don’t you forget it!! 

Have a great week. I know I will!

P.S. THE ONLY REASON IT’S OKAY THAT UTAH WON IS BECAUSE DAD’S A UTAH FAN. Otherwise…. I’m a little heartbroken. It was talked about in every church meeting yesterday. Ouch. 
— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
BIG WEEK FOLKS!

Hey! We didn’t report all ZEROs for the week!!!

I just have to brag for a second.

This week was the first in many that we did not report pretty much straight zeros! PRAYER AND FASTING WORKS, EVERYONE. More on that later.

First of all, just gotta give a shout out to Dad… HAPPY BIRTHDAY YESTERDAY! And you ran a marathon? Dang. I don’t know if I’ll ever run a marathon. Don’t worry. I bragged about all that to my missionary friends the past few days. They all know that my dad is awesome and that it was his birthday and he ran a MARATHON. That’s what’s up.

This week really has been an improvement in many cases. 

We did forums on campus on Friday and something amazing happened…. We got NINE potentials. That’s more than EVER at forums for us. The other sisters got some as well so it didn’t just stop at nine. Isn’t that awesome? We’re contacting them as soon as possible and hoping to schedule lessons with them. We kind of changed the way we do forums so that we’re more effectively engaging in conversation as opposed to just handing them a card and hoping they ask what it’s all about. It’s been super effective. But here’s a little secret. I actually think some of the success came from a promise I made with the Lord. I felt like my leadership in our companionship studies had been slacking a bit and that our role plays weren’t effective. So, before I went to bed on Thursday night, I knelt down to pray and I made a deal with Heavenly Father. I told Him that I would do everything I could to keep us on schedule during comp study and that I promised our role plays would be valuable and effective. I asked for a special blessing for the work to pick up tomorrow because of that. The first part of the week had been slow and I was getting a little frustrated with talking to nobody. So I just said, I will do my part and then I know that you’ve promised you will do yours! And He did. The Lord always provides for us when we are obedient and patient. These results came a little quicker than they do a lot of the time, but I know that it was a direct answer to my prayer… And that’s always super cool to recognize. 🙂
 

We taught two lessons this week! That’s more than all of last transfer. Holy cow. It was awesome. One was with a boy named Jacob who was referred to us by a member of the branch. We met up with the member and Jacob at Panera Bread (WHICH IS THE BOMB, BY THE WAY), and taught him the first lesson. He took it really well. We could tell he has really great intentions and has really come a long way in his life. He’s definitely gone through some tough stuff but has realized that there is so much happiness that comes from avoiding things that harm us and drive the Spirit away. We have a lesson with him this week and I’m really excited to be able to teach him again. If he actually has read the Book of Mormon and prayed about it, he will be considered my FIRST progressing investigator on my mission! I’m so ecstatic. 

The other person we taught is this sweet little Chinese girl named Chunxiao. She’s from Beijing and she’s a visiting scholar at Penn State. I met her on campus a few weeks back and we’ve been trying to set up a lesson with her ever since. Finally, on Sunday, she met with us. We had a few road blocks–she missed her bus and then the member who had agreed to come at the later time–but the lesson was amazing. There is something that is so awesome about teaching someone who has never even heard of God before. You have a blank canvas to paint the message of God’s love upon. When someone doesn’t even know who–or what–God is, it’s a hard concept to teach them that this being LOVES them and KNOWS them. When she finally understood that, she told us that she wants to know that God loves her and she wants to feel Him with her. She prayed at the end of the lesson and it was so adorable because she didn’t realize we were asking her to pray out loud. After a few long moments of silence, we all looked up and saw her closing her eyes, concentrating really hard. She told us afterward that she had prayed for her mother’s health. The Spirit was so strong. It was a very awesome experience.

I finally got to feel what I LOVE again. I really do love teaching, and I think I always have had a knack for it. But there is something so magnificent and empowering about teaching when you’ve actually be set apart to do so. The Lord really works through you and helps guide the discussion. My favorite part, actually, is when a question pops into my mind and I can just feel that it is straight from the Lord when it is rolling off my tongue. 

There’s a girl that we were in contact with named Luna. She had been taught once by the elders in Greensburg(h?) (near Pittsburgh) and then came back to Penn State. She told us last week that she was just too busy and that if she had a chance she would let us know. That usually means they’re not interested. We decided that we would wait a week and a half or so and text her after this weekend to see what her schedule was like. But, she totally jumped the gun and texted on Sunday to set up a lesson herself! Miracles are happening, folks.
 
We got a new sister here. Her name is Sister Chang (but it’s pronounced “Jahng” and she always tells you to imagine you’re ringing a bell and then that’s how you say it). She’s so stinkin’ cute. She’s from Taipei, Taiwan, and she is just all smiles and energy. I can tell that it was a bit hard for Sister Yates at first because she was realizing that she didn’t know the area as well as she thought she did. But she’s been asking questions and really been doing her best to internalize everything. It’s kind of cool because I still feel like I’m training her a little while I’m training Sister Hurdsman. It’s almost like I get a second chance at parenting my young or something. 🙂 

Everyone else stayed the same in this area and it’s actually really awesome because I think it’s really helping the unity in this area improve. I actually think that a handful of us will be transferred after this transfer, but that’s just speculation, obviously. Regardless, I’m doing my best to really enjoy this specific situation that I’m in. There’s so many good people and good things happening that I would just be foolish and ignorant if I ended this transfer feeling bored or unexcited about this area. 

I am really happy to be here, everyone. This is such a joy to me. There’s stresses and heartaches and lame stuff (like being sick–I’m totally sick as a dog today. Went to bed at 9:45 last night after taking a ton of NyQuil)… But the work moves forward as we repent and have faith. That’s cool stuff right there. 

Keep being awesome. Love you all.

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
Hey! We didn’t report all ZEROs for the week!!!

Three transfers down…

Okay this is nuts. It’s the first day of my 4th transfer. Do you know what that means? It means that by the end of this transfer, I will have been out for six months. SIX MONTHS. I’ll only have a year after that. That’s so crazy and awesome and sad and weird all at the same time. I can’t believe that I haven’t been home since April. That feels like FOREVER ago. 

This week has not even felt like a real week at all. First of all we had to email on Tuesday, so that like extended our P-Day. Then, there was a Penn State Football game at home this past Saturday and our Zone Leaders told us that we should probably just stay inside and be more productive at home. I called it Solitary Confinement. I’ll tell more about that later. But it’s just been weird! Plus, with all the hype about transfers it just feels like the last week of the transfer is always the LONGEST WEEK EVER. Also, a lot of other abnormal things have happened.

The dish on transfers… Well, Sister Kingsford is getting transferred. And she’s actually the only one. But Sister Yates’ new companion is a Temple Square sister from Taiwan. The Temple Square sisters do something called “outboud” where they go and serve somewhere in the states so they get to serve in somewhere that’s more normal of missionary circumstances. It will be awesome for them because there’s tons of Mandarin speakers here. Not as awesome for us because we don’t get a Mandarin speaker… Rough. But it will be cool to have a foreigner. And I’m excited that everyone else is staying around because I seriously LOVE these missionaries and we have such a blast. I’m pretty positive that I will be transferred after this transfer, though. Six months in an area didn’t used to be an uncommon thing when there were only eight sisters at a given time and four sister areas. But now that there are so many, it’s actually kind of weird that I will be here this long. I’m glad, though. Then I feel like people will actually remember me. Right now there are two sisters who left this mission in the past year, Sister Romero and Sister Franklin, visiting. It’s been way fun to get to talk to them and hear how things used to be in State College vs. how they are now. It’s also just been cool to listen to how they’ve been adjusting and what awesome things they learned from their mission. Some day that is going to be me. And I think that day is going to come a lot quicker than it feels like it will right now! I don’t know how I feel about that.

For the past month or so, Sister Hurdsman and I have had fruit flies all over our apartment. It’s been pretty repulsive, actually. We even got a fruit fly trap that worked for about a week and then they just continued to multiply. Well, when we were cleaning out our apartment during Solitary Confinement, I opened the bottom drawer in the kitchen to find a bag of rotting potatoes. When I opened the drawer, about 958 fruit flies flew out and I FREAKED OUT. They are so gross. I’m getting shivers up my spine just thinking about them. Eww. Okay. Moving on.

So, Solitary Confinement. Well, we had from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm to be productive. That meant that after studies, we went and gave Sister Kingsford a makeover. It was so fun. We did her hair, make up, and fingernails and she looked soooo pretty. We could tell her confidence level was just skyrocketing, too. I’ll send some before and after pictures when I’m done here. After that, Sister Hurdsman and I cleaned our apartment for FIVE AND A HALF HOURS. Okay. I actually didn’t mind it too much. It actually set the tone for a really awesome, organized transfer and I’m feeling so much better now that we’ve cleared out a ton of old missionary garbage. But, in the process of this, I was cleaning off the nightstand in our room. It has had random doohickeys and other things on it since I got here and I decided to actually take a look at it and throw away stuff that was unnecessary. On the nightstand I found this conch shell type thing. I looked on the bottom and there was a price tag sticker that had been partially torn off, which indicated, to me, that it wasn’t very valuable and was probably left over from some white elephant missionary P-Day x amount of years ago. I threw it in the trash can and thought nothing else of it. 

Until…

Around 9:45 pm. Sister Hurdsman was sitting on her bed, writing in her journal. I was laying on the newly vacuumed floor, enjoying the extra space that we had because we had rearranged our bedroom furniture. Sister Hurdsman finished writing and stood up and started looking around the nightstand and under the bed. She then asked, “Hey, have you seen my shell?” 

My stomached DROPPED. I immediately started laughing. Not the kind of laughing like “hey this is funny!” It was the kind of laughing where you’re so uncomfortable/scared/whatever that your only reaction is to laugh. Then I said, “You’re gonna hate me.” She looked sick a little bit and then asked, “Did you throw it away?” My thoughts were going wild: “I AM THE WORST COMPANION EVER I JUST ASSUMED THAT IT WAS CRAP AND IT APPARENTLY HAS SOME SENTIMENTAL VALUE!!” When I told her I had, she just said, “Oh okay I’m gonna cry,” and started to cry. I was freaking out. Then she told me that her dad’s last mission companion had given it to him when he was having a hard time. He had wrapped it up and put it in her suitcase without her knowing, along with a whole story about it and she found it when she was in the MTC. Am I the worst person ever? Yeah, pretty much.

I immediately ran to my closet, changed my clothes, grabbed a flashlight and told her to put on shoes because I was going to find it. We ran to the dumpster and I climbed inside and dug through every bag in there until I found it. BUT I FOUND IT!! I was so proud of myself. And I also knew that if I didn’t find it, I wouldn’t have been able to sleep that night… Or any night this week, for that matter. I found it, though… Thank goodness. And, while I was digging through the dumpster, some guy came by to throw away his trash and all he said was, “Either you lost something important or you’re REALLY, really drunk.” Hahahaha. Glad it was the first one.

So besides being the worst companion, some good things have happened this week.

When we were in Solitary Confinement, we actually had a more productive day than any other day in a while. We got a referral and set up a lesson for this week. We also set up another lesson with a former that had been taught about two years ago. But, from what our Branch Mission Leader told us, he has seen him around and he’s been doing REALLY well. He said that he thinks that he might be prepared now. I’m really excited to teach him and I’ll be sure to tell you all about the lessons we will have this upcoming week! I really feel like something’s been lacking because we just haven’t taught ANYONE in a long time. I love teaching… Not just because I’m a missionary, but because it’s something I’ve always kind of enjoyed. I’m excited to be able to take time to bear testimony to someone who is actually listening this week. 

This is no accident, everyone. This is a direct result of fasting, prayer, and hard work. I know that to be true. I’m so glad that the Lord answers prayers because we’ve been doing a LOT of praying in this area. It’s a total cliche`, but it’s true to say that the miracles never come how you are expecting them to come. And sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t getting an investigator who’s just ready to be baptized that instant. Sometimes it’s just getting the name of a referral who turns you down–but gives you something to do that mixes up your schedule a little bit. That’s been really cool to recognize that miracles don’t always have to be these HUGE events. Sometimes, the miracle is really just the fact that I am able to get out of bed in the morning. (Who am I kidding? That is ALWAYS a miracle.)

I don’t have a ton else for this week. I just want you all to know that I love you. I’m really terrible at expressing it in real life. I recognize that. But I sincerely care so deeply for all of you and hope that you’ll forgive me for my shortcomings. Promise I’m working on them. 🙂

Keep being awesome everyone. Godspeed.

— 

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

 

 Image
Elder Trotman and Sister Hanseen ^
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Elder Vasallo ^                                            Elder Trotman ^
 
Image
Pennsylvania Sunflower
 
Three transfers down…

Labor Day (it’s a Holidaaaaay)!

Family–Do you remember our vacation to the Florida Keys? And how we had that Black Eyed Peas CD that we listened to probably 100+ times? Do you remember the song “Labor Day (It’s a Holiday)?” Well… I do. And I was singing it all day yesterday. In my head. I never actually sang it out loud, surprisingly enough. But, it made me think of you all the same. 🙂

Man, everybody. I’m kind of scrounging for stuff to write about this week. It’s been dull to say the least. But, I sometimes forget that the things we do on P Day after emails still counts as the week. I’d better tell you about GRANGE FAIR.

Oh man. It lived up to expectations and exceeded them. People without teeth, larger than average people riding scooters eating dough boys (the intensified version of funnel cake), deep fried everything, fudged-dipped bacon, ORANGEADE (my favorite), people living in hundreds of tents that they equip with everything from refrigerators to chandeliers for 10 or so days… THE WORKS. Man. It was quite an adventure. And I’m pretty much crying right now thinking of how silly I am to have forgotten to check if my card reader was in my backpack this morning because… It’s not. So I can’t even send you the hilarious pictures we took. Next week will have to suffice. But I’ll give you some previews: The elders wearing normal clothes and walking down a row of deep fried everything thinking they’re hot stuff like a boy band, Sister Hurdsman, Elder Trotman, Elder Vassallo, and me wearing cheapo trucker hats looking like gangsta’s, me getting whipped by a cow’s tail, and me next to the sign for the “Potato Factory.” There were other things that I didn’t get pictures of that were ridiculous. There was a rabbit that was literally the size of a medium sized dog. This rabbit was bigger than Moose! (P.S. I really don’t think I like dogs. I’ve decided that. But I do love Moose. He’s a good one). Another highlight was that I actually gave a card to some guy because he asked about our nametags. And, weirdly enough, as soon as he started talking to us it was like all the other missionaries were frozen and didn’t want to say anything. Not really sure why. But I gave him a card and we chatted for a few minutes. That was a good time.

But, besides the Grange Fair, not much happened. The students are back in full bloom, but we are still seeing little growth in our teaching pool. It’s definitely NOT about the numbers when you are a missionary. But, as a good man in one of the family wards here tells us, “It’s not your job to find. You were not set apart to find. You were set apart to teach. That’s your job.” Amen Hallelujah! Though, Preach My Gospel says, “Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach.” That leaves us with one option: FIND PEOPLE TO TEACH. One thing I’ve really been trying to focus on my whole mission is to build member trust. It’s difficult sometimes when there aren’t really that many people in the branch that we don’t know. In fact, there are so few people that we do know everyone. So it’s not like they’re unfamiliar with us. The difficult part is getting them to really trust us so that they would feel comfortable giving us referrals. The way we build trust is by getting to know them, and being OBEDIENT. I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s one thing that I’ve really been trying my best with. I’ll admit that it is super hard to be exactly obedient. But, at my farewell, Brother Bluth gave me some advice. He said that there are three things you need to be in order to be successful as a missionary. 1. Obedient. 2. Obedient. 3. Obedient. I’ve thought about that a lot. And since he was a mission president (right…?), I definitely trust that counsel. 

As I said, the students are back, and there are definitely more people. When we do forums on campus it’s really crazy and there are more people to talk to than we can ever reach. We’re pretty much out of all our pass along cards (and we get about 5-6 packages per area per month, if not more) and we’re doing our best to get people to talk with us. Though, I empathize with them in the fact that they’re students and they are busy and the last thing they want to do is listen to a bunch of people handing out stuff on campus. I’ve been there. But it breaks my heart knowing that what we have can CHANGE THEIR LIFE. Not just their life on earth, but their eternal life. For some reason, I feel like that’s a little more earth-shattering to ignore than an invitation to text 30 of your closest friends about a BYU volleyball game just so you can get a free t-shirt… But I’ve definitely been one to succumb to that so I guess my point isn’t as strong as I was intending. You get the point. 🙂 

There are miracles that happen. I’m a strong witness of that. This morning, as Sister Hurdsman and I were riding the bus to come email all of you lovely folks, we received a phone call. Now, mind you, we had to rearrange our studies for today so we were on the bus during the time that should’ve technically been personal study. The phone call was from a set of elders in our mission who called to give us a referral. This referral is a girl they’ve taught and who is dating a guy who is supposed to be attending our branch. He has been less active for a while but the elders told us that there would be a good chance that we could get him involved in her lessons. This is no accident. I truly believe that. And I think that the Lord answered the pleas of Sister Hurdsman and I whether we realized we were pleading or not. All week we’ve been talking about how we didn’t really have a lot to write home about. But literally in the last moment possible, the Lord reminded us that He is so involved in what we’re doing and that He really cares for us. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to feel like we are doing our best. I feel so blessed to have been given this precious soul to hopefully help lead to the Iron Rod. 

This is the last week of my third transfer. I got a call from President Topham this past week. He asked for some insight on the sisters here. He told me a few options that he’s considering and pretty much all of them sound great. There is a high chance that we will be getting a Mandrain speaking sister from temple square in this area for the next few transfers. That will be SUCH a blessing. I can’t wait to see what happens. I’m 99.9% positive I’m staying here and staying with Sister Hurdsman, but if I’ve learned anything about transfers, it’s that nothing is official until you get a transfer call. Everything else is just speculation. So I’ll keep you posted next week.

I’ve been thinking about everyone at home a lot lately. I really pray for you individually as often as I can. I love you. I miss you. I hope you have a great week!

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
10 Vairo Blvd #32D
State College, PA 16803
Labor Day (it’s a Holidaaaaay)!