Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

There is something about the holidays that really brings the Spirit to people in a different way than it does other times of the year. I definitely felt that this week. There is a less active lady that we visited when we first got here  who really didn’t take to having sisters instead of elders and was particularly mean to me (I think I told you about her… the one who made me cry? Oh embarrassing…). We had to help her with a rocking chair refinishing project and she didn’t trust us to do it by ourselves so we brought a brother from the ward and the elders, and the whole time she was pretty much telling the elders to tie me up and lock me in a cupboard because she didn’t like me. I just kept smiling and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. Then, on Thanksgiving, she called us and left a message saying how grateful she was for us and that next time we come over she wants us to come by ourselves. She said that it meant so much to her that we would take the time to visit her and help her. It was truly a humbling experience. I think she really felt the “reason for the season” and was touched by the Spirit of the Lord.

So that was an awesome little story that I thought I’d share! Anyway… Onto Thanksgiving itself. So… All my family and friends at home might be a little bit saddened by this… But any person who’s ever been away from home for Thanksgiving will be happy about it. I WAS TOTALLY NOT HOMESICK ON THANKSGIVING!  Seriously. It was so crazy. The day was just so filled with awesome things to do that I was really excited to be there and I was with people I ADORE. So, don’t worry family. I’ll be excited to be home next year but this one was good. I did think about all of you and pray in gratitude for you, but I wasn’t feeling bummed out all day like I thought I might be.

It started off with a Turkey Bowl. MY FIRST EVER TURKEY BOWL! Holy cow. We went to the soccer field at Seton Hill University in Greensburg and it was totally covered in a thin layer of snow. We stomped out some boundary lines and divided up teams and had a freakin’ hay day for about two hours. I ran so hard. I totally got a touchdown, even! It was awesome. There was one point where I was guarding a kid in the end zone and I intercepted the throw and started running my little heart out in the direction of our end zone. I got two-hand-touched and started to slow down, lost my balance, and started falling forward at BREAK-NECK SPEED… Kind of. Anyway, I look up and there’s Elder Martin in some bright yellow hoodie just standing there like a brick wall… Well, it definitely felt like a brick wall when I completely collided with him before falling flat on my back and whacking my head on the snowy turf. (Don’t tell him that I said he felt like a brick wall because that might make him think he’s super strong or something. Can’t have that. Haha).

Anyway, after Turkey Bowl, Sister Hathaway and I went to this couple’s house, Janie and Jordan, and they’re my freaking favorite. If I am half as cool as them when I am older and married then I will have succeeded. They have this adorable baby named Lucy and she’s just so stinkin’ cute that I get a little depressed every time I see her and realize that I can’t hold her. That’s the WORST RULE!! Anyway. We helped her make like 3 batches of homemade rolls because she hadn’t done it before. It was a blast. Then we went  home, showered and changed into normal missionary clothes again, made a quick salad and then headed to the church for our FEAST! We had 5 different young couples who are here for medical school and the four of us missionaries at the church. It was a flippin’ blast. We had so much food. So… I guess that’s like the equivalent of 5 dinner appointments because there were five families? I’d say so. We sat around and talked and laughed and had a jolly old time. Then afterward, we set up the volleyball nets in the gym and played volleyball until it was pumpkin-turning time. … AKA curfew. Haha. At the end of the day, Elder Martin was like,”So… This has been the funnest day of my mission.” Easily. It was a blast. Luckily, all four of us are staying in Greensburg for this next transfer so we’ll all get to spend Christmas together! We’re going to this couple’s house, Allie and Jake, and they have three adorable kids. We went there for dinner last night and I took some pictures with Olivia and Reed and I’ll send them home in a bit. Reed’s my best little buddy. He always begs me to hold him and my heart breaks into like eight million pieces.

The rest of this week was pretty good! We got to go to a baptism in Plum for the sisters in our district on Saturday and it was awesome. I felt so much happiness for them! It was like the sons of Mosiah in Alma 29. I was just so happy for their success in missionary work! Plus, on the way there we found a drive thru Starbucks so I got myself a nice cup of Caramel Apple Spice (apple cider, don’t you worry my friends) in a red cup. It’s red cup season! Ahh the best. I think I’m going to get one on the way to District Meeting every week now that we’ve found that little drive thru awesomeness.

A few weeks ago, my mission president challenged me to refocus on the Standards of Excellence for the PPM (1 new investigator daily, 1 member present lesson daily, 1 baptism/reactivation monthly). I had a particularly miraculous experience that came from this renewed sense of focus. Earlier this week I was thinking about how we could get a new investigator for that day. There was a media referral we had received and we had not been able to get in contact with her no matter how hard we tried. We decided to stop by her house in the early afternoon. On the way, I prayed with every fiber of my being and asked Heavenly Father that he let this woman be home so that we could teach her and pick her up as a new investigator. I remember specifically thinking about the principle of faith and praying for specific blessings, expecting that the Lord will keep His word. I was filled with gratitude as we left her home with a return appointment and commitments left. The Lord DID keep His word. He heard my specific prayer and He helped us to reach that standard of excellence. I’ve set a new transfer goal to focus on the standards or excellence every single day. I’m excited to see where this leads me this transfer.

I got some amazing emails today. Long ones too. So I don’t have as much time to respond to everyone who emailed. Hopefully you will all forgive me! 

I hope you all know how much I love you! There’s been some bumpy patches out here but I’m so grateful for the support and prayers. It’s pretty crazy to think that after this transfer, I’ll be hitting my halfway mark! This thing is flying by. It’s pretty nuts. I’m so happy to be here! I love you all! Have a great week!


Sister McKann Hanseen
216 N. Shenandoah Dr. #302

Latrobe, PA 15650
Sister Hanseen and                                              The Reedster
Elders with their suits inside out at District Meeting
Last District Meeting
Olivia                                                    Sister Hanseen                                 Reed “The Reedster”
The Whole Turkeybowl Group
Plumb Sister’s Baptism for Nikala (in the middle is Nikala, if you hadn’t guessed)
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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