So, I’ll be honest. Part of the reason I was looking forward to it was because the entire church (I think) has been instructed to focus their entire Saturday night sessions of Stake Conference on missionary work and invite the full time missionaries. So good things about that: my current favorite topic of discussion, road trip to Cranberry (that’s a real place and it’s actually where Elder V is currently serving), seeing other missionaries, seeing President and Sister Topham. All of that was SO awesome. The meeting was so inspiring. Sometimes it frustrates me because I sit in meetings from priesthood leaders and I’m just ON FIRE. Like so ready to go. Ready to go baptize all of Latrobe and activate all the less actives in one second. And then I get back to Latrobe and I realize that it’s honestly a lot harder than just that. But I’m trying. Taking it one day at a time. It’s so different here, but I’m doing my best to stay positive. I’m going to give you a very raw, very real statement here. No sugar coating. … I honestly don’t know if there have been many times in my life that it has been harder to stay positive. I can’t quite figure it out. I really do love being a missionary. And I really do love getting this opportunity. And the time I get to do this is SO SHORT. Remember, it’s already a third of the way GONE. But for some reason this is just a tough little patch. I feel like things just keep happening that feel like pouring salt in the wound. But, then I feel super ungrateful because then these GREAT things happen and it’s like I am blinding myself from them because I’m being selfish and turning inward. So… Rant over. But I’m working really really hard to just do everything I can to completely submit my will over to the Lord and do all I can to help bless HIS children.
Okay that was a huge sidetrack. But guess what was the best about going to Stake Conference in the Pittsburgh North Stake? ELDER WEATHERSTON AND ELDER VASSALLO ARE IN IT!! Okay, I haven’t seen Elder Weatherston since JUNE and it has been so weird to not see Elder V every day. Afterward, the three of us were talking and we just were SO HAPPY. We’ve all come so far, it’s unreal. Elder Weatherston actually got to SPEAK at the meeting and his talk was stellar (of course) and I was just beaming the whole time! I was so proud to know him! It was amazing because I was immediately brought back to the MTC when he and I were paired up to do a role play for our fundamental “Teach People Not Lessons.” He had a really hard moment. I don’t know why, or what was behind it, but he just had a bit of an emotional time doing it. I remember staring him in the face and just saying, “Elder Weatherston. You know how to do this. This is a part of who you are! You know how to love people. You’re an amazing missionary.” And then seeing him up there giving a General Authority Status talk I was just pumped and kept thinking, “THAT’S THE ELDER WEATHERSTON I KNEW WAS IN THERE!!”
Also, at different times that night Elder Weatherston and Elder Vassallo referenced something that had happened to me in the past few weeks. I was trying to figure out how they even KNEW that some lady had yelled at me and made me cry or how Elder W knew that I was training for the third time… then they told me that their moms have both been sending them little clips/highlights from my emails every week. So this is a shout out for them! You guys have got to be the BEST MOMS because your sons are my HEROES! Seriously. You’re doing something right, that’s for sure. And the Lord is so grateful because they are touching the lives of so many around them!
Our bishop here has been so nice to us. At Stake Conference, he pulled us aside and just said, “Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. I talked to your mission president and told him how awesome you guys have been.” So that was gratifying. At least the work we’re doing is actually doing some good. It’s always nice to feel like what you’ve been doing actually makes a difference, especially if things aren’t as positive in your mind. I just gotta keep reminding myself of that! It’s not about numbers. It’s not even about if I know how to do the best door approach. It’s about getting to know Christ and helping others do the same. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it as hard as I can, I promise!
It snowed today for the first time! My companion was freaking out and I was just thinking, “okay stop screaming, I’m trying to PRAY HERE!” which is super uncharitable of me but… she’s from Washington so snow is kind of a novelty. Everyone keeps saying that I must be used to the snow and it really ticks me off because HOLY COW I’M STILL A HUMAN AND IT STILL FEELS COLD OUTSIDE!! I’m not just immune to the cold because I live in the mountains! Whatever. Haha. Seriously though… I don’t think I like the snow as a missionary. It’s way different to have snow outside when you can go inside whenever you want and don’t have to be wearing a skirt. Bring on 5 months of cold. Ew. Yuck. Okay I’m shivering just thinking about that.
Well, I promise that I love being a missionary. It’s just a little tougher sometimes than others. But when I really think about it, last time I checked, nobody was trying to kill me because of my beliefs. Sometimes they’re just rude. I can deal with rude.
I love you all. I really do pray for you on a regular basis. Remember, the Lord is pleased with you. But there’s always something you could be working on. 🙂 Keep the faith, and embrace imperfection!
Sister McKann Hanseen
216 N. Shenandoah Dr. #302