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