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