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