Can Beavers even survive -20 degree weather?

Well everybody, Pennsylvania decided to finally have some real snow! It’s been pretty crazy the past few days. We woke up to a total snow storm this morning. And it snowed all day on Saturday. And since we’re not allowed to drive when it’s bad conditions… We didn’t get to do anything. At all. It was really boring. It’s really not fun to have to stay inside when you’re a missionary. 

 
Well, this week has been pretty slow–partially because of the weather, and partially because of the mileage limitations on our car. I came into this new area halfway through the month so I kind of walked into whatever decisions the sisters had made as far as travel goes… And I have to live with the consequences of that. They had already used more than half the miles before half the month was even over. So that was a little bit frustrating and we’ve been doing all we can to budget miles.
 
I came up with this bright idea that we are NOT going to go over miles, no matter what it takes. So we planned very specifically the exact amount of miles that we have until the end of the month and realized that we are going to have to make some sacrifices. I decided that we were going to walk. Pioneer status. In the middle of January. So, on Friday, we embarked on our journey into downtown Beaver Falls. It was about a 2.8 miles walk to our investigator’s house and it took about an hour. … But it was 12 degrees outside. And we went anyway. But here’s the thing about Pennsylvania. It’s not like I’m just walking from our house down to the Temple on Timpview Drive. It’s ALL HILLS. And we always have to wear skirts?? Yeah. NO bueno. We walked there to find that they weren’t home, then immediately walked back. I was aching by the time we got home. HAPPY NINE MONTH MARK!! Right? Yeah… Rough. So we went and treated ourselves to the only Mexican restaurant anywhere nearby. Thankfully El Paso did not let us down and it was just enough to brighten our spirits for the night.
 
Our original plan was to walk a lot on Wednesday to save on miles as well, but … No. We’re not doing that. Plus, it’s supposed to be in the negatives for like the next three days. Not happening. I don’t really know what we’ll do but I guess we’ll cross that road when we get there.
 
Honestly, there hasn’t been a lot happening as far as missionary work goes. I’m trying really hard to figure out what my role is here in this area and this particular companionship. I found out that I’m actually the senior companion even though we have been out the same amount of time and Sister Crockett has been in the area for two transfers already. I feel like there’s some good teaching opportunities with that but I’m having a hard time figuring out what the boundary line is. We have interviews with President Topham this week and I think that will be most of what I talk to him about. Hopefully I can get some better direction on what I can do to help this companionship and this area. 
 
I’m so sad to hear about Bob Allen. My heart is aching for the Allen family. I can’t really even imagine what that’s like, but I am so grateful for the perspective we are so blessed with. The Plan of Happiness–my personal favorite title–is such a comforting doctrine. This time on earth is so short. And so full of a range of emotions and experiences. I cannot help but think about how much more caring and sensitive we all will be from this particular situation. I’m so grateful for the love that Bob always showed me and I look forward to that reunion in the next life! I’m sure he’s just so excited for all of us to come up there so he can give us a good ole tease. 🙂 
 
I’ve hit my 9 month mark officially! It’s kind of crazy. It’s flying by. I’m so grateful for the way my mission laid out. The slowest part is definitely the winter, by far. So I’m glad that the last little bit will fly by with warm weather and awkward missionary tan lines. I wouldn’t really love to head home in the middle of a dark and dreary winter. Everyone’s saying this is a really REALLY hard Winter for PA. Guess I brought the snow with me! 
 
I hope everyone’s doing well! As always, I’m grateful for the love and support that you all give so abundantly. I hope your week is fantastic! Love you all!
 

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
62 Sunny Hills Dr.

Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Image
 
Epitome of Greensburg Missionaries
 
Image
Sister Hanseen at Lookout overlooking the Steel City – Pittsburgh PA
 
Image
Sister Hanseen at the Lookout, with a Steelers ring a member beaded for her.
 
Image
Elder DeRoest and Sister Hanseen – cousins serving in the Pittsburgh PA mission – how close can we get?
 
Image
And Dad thew this one in…. after Elder DeRoest’s homecoming!
Can Beavers even survive -20 degree weather?

First Week in Beaver Valley!

First off… I’m a failure and totally forgot my card reader so it will be the 2nd week in a row that I don’t send pictures. Which is a shame because I’ve really got some gems from the past week or two. All my pictures with my old ward and with all the missionaries at transfer meeting, etc.  

It was quite the ride to get to transfers. On Monday morning, Elder Martin called with our logistics. The four of us (E. Martin, E. Little, Sis. Hathaway, me) were to pack up in the elder’s Chevy Cruze with all of my luggage AND all of Elder Martin’s luggage because he got transferred as well… And get to Pittsburgh by 10:00 am so Elder Little could make it to the training meeting there. So.. They showed up at 8:00 and we packed in tighter than sardines in a can and drove to Pittsburgh, dropped off Elder Little at about 10:15 despite leaving an hour earlier than we were instructed to, and then got to go hang out with the Zone Leaders in Pitt and other random misfit missionaries that didn’t have companions or had rides that got there too early. We got to go to the lookout and take some awesome pictures… That I’ll send next week. Then we all went out to eat at Olive Garden and that was a blast. Then we pretty much just went back to the chapel in Pitt and hung out while all the missionaries came. I GOT TO SEE STACIE!! My friend Stacie Jones finally got here and she is serving in my dream area… Pitt 7th Walk. It’s Southside Pittsburgh and it’s totally ghetto and awesome. I would die to serve there. Ahhh. Jealous. Anyway. I also got to see a bunch of missionaries from my MTC District, my old District Leader, Elder Daniels, ELDER DEROEST, Sister Ferrin…. OH man. It was awesome. It ended too quickly. 
 
So here I am, in Beaver Falls. My new companion is Sister Crockett and we are in a district with the elders and sisters in Cranberry (basically the Utah ward of the mission). Get this. ELDER VASSALLO IS MY DISTRICT LEADER! We are still in shock. How did that even happen?! It’s so weird. So… Bring on another 3 months or so serving with Elder V. Weird. Small world. Also, Elder Adamson who was in the MTC with me as well is serving in the Beaver Valley ward. Crazy. I feel like that stuff doesn’t normally happen. So.. Sweet!
 
Anyway, Sister Crockett is from Mesa, AZ and she actually came out with me! We didn’t know each other in the MTC, though. It’s totally different being in a companionship with someone who isn’t brand new and I think it’s going to be a good couple of transfers. This ward is really pumped up on missionary work. They have had 7 convert baptisms in the past 7 months. And the momentum from that is just AWESOME. Elder Adamson is serving with Elder Waddoups, who went to American Fork High School and he’s pretty much a basketball pro. So just for name dropping’s sake, thought I’d throw that in there. He’s been here for 7 transfers now because he had some crazy companion-going-home stories and this will probably be his last transfer here. 
 
It has been an interesting transition to be in this new area. I honestly miss Greensburg a LOT. I never thought I would. It was the hardest part of my mission by far. I struggled more there than a lot of times in my LIFE, even. But the Lord knew exactly who needed to be with me there and it was awesome. I feel so connected because of the growth that I experienced there. But, onward and upward. I only have HALF MY MISSION LEFT. And I have a lot more to learn.
 
I had an awesome experience in sacrament meeting on Sunday. I was feeling a little bummed because I was missing Greensburg and a little excited to be in Beaver Valley all a the same time. I wasn’t really paying attention to the speaker, but all of a sudden I just got this huge confirmation that this is where I’m supposed to be. I know that’s so cliche typical missionary status but it’s TRUE. This ward has some great momentum but there’s a lot more that can be done and I think I’m a perfect fit to help this ward. As long as I rely on the Lord, that is. I’m excited, though. It’s going to be a great next few months.
 
Family and friends I love you dearly. I hope you know I think about you and pray for you often! Keep your chins up and keep pushing forward. The Lord loves you!
 

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
62 Sunny Hills Dr.
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
First Week in Beaver Valley!

See ya Laaater Latrobe!

Well, it’s official. I am being transferred. Adios. I kind of felt that it would happen when this week was AWESOME. My areas always tend to get super sweet right before I leave. So… Cool.

 
We actually didn’t find out until really late this time. We usually find out Friday or early Saturday afternoon, but we didn’t get calls until 9:50 pm on Saturday night. I was FREAKING out. I’m always a nervous wreck when it comes to this stuff. Our district is staying the same except Elder Martin and I are both leaving. Elder Little is training and Sister Hathaway is just getting a new companion. We found out that tomorrow morning, the elders are coming to pick us up and then we’re all headed to Pittsburgh around 9:00 am and by 3:00 pm I’ll be headed to my new area! Not sure where it’ll be but I’ll let you know next week! The current issue is how we are possibly going to fit four humans and the luggage of two humans all in one little 2013 Chevy Cruze. But… Yeah. We’ll see. I’ll get to see my friend Stacie who’s coming out to the mission and a bunch of my friends that are headed home and/or getting transferred! It should be fun. We’re gonna drop off Elder Little at the training meeting at 10:00 and then Sister Hathaway, Elder Martin, and I pretty much just get to go and hang out with the Pitt Zone Leaders until the transfer meeting at 2:00. 
 
This week was hard because I didn’t know if I was leaving… That’s always weird. But I just decided that I was going to work as hard as possible. And miracle after miracle happened! It was awesome. One of the first ones was on Tuesday. We were doing our weekly service at St. Vincent de Paul (and I totally found a brand new London Fog raincoat for a DOLLAR. Holla). Anyway, we were sorting clothes and one of our less actives was there and said we could come over that afternoon and teach her daughter like we have been! It was great. We weren’t going to go because it was NEGATIVE FOUR DEGREES OUTSIDE and we didn’t think that a lot of people would be there. But since we went we ran into her and it was just sweet.
 
Side note. I got my boots and the receipt for the camera and the package from Rachel and Laura. AND I LOVED IT. Okay sweet. Thank yinz.
 
Thursday was AMAZING. I am just going to type my journal entry. 
 
“Hallelujah, Glory! The Lord answers prayers! Man alive. Today was a good day. On Sunday, Elder Martin committed me to try this way of tracting I showed him from this book called “Tracting & Member Missionary Work” I found in my apartment. I agreed and decided today would be the day. We set aside 2 hours to tract today. I was not excited.
 
Before that, decided to go visit one of the referrals from a member that previously refused us.She totally agreed to have us come teach her more. We are setting something up with her and her neighbor–the member–for next week.
 
We then started the tracting. I really tried hard to input the things we practiced at District Meeting yesterday–immediately testifying of the Restoration. We got a return appointment with a lady named Stacy, left a BOM with a guy named Dave who said we could come back, taught a lesson to and picked up a new investigator named Tammy…
 
And then our LA, Milton, was home and let in to teach a lesson. Then we decided to go to IHOP because someone gave us a gift card. We had a little extra time afterward so I wanted to go look in Barnes & noble. On the way in a guy stopped us and tol dus how Mormons are the most pure, hard-working group of people he’s ever met. We gave him a BOM right as his taxi arrived.
 
Then we went to visit this LAPM family, the Leone’s. We had a great little lesson about unity and they committed to read the BOM as a family and the 9 year old girl was ecstatic that we gave her her own copy of the BOM. Man, heavenly Father just gave us a miracle after miracle today.
 
this morning, I prayed that I would be able to testify of the BOM to someone. I gave out 6 copies and testified EVERY time. today was a complete blessing and just what I needed.”
 
Tammy ended up coming to church yesterday and we are teaching her again tonight after we have a lesson and dinner with that referral and member. … Of course, we HAD TO SING IF YOU COULD HIE TO KOLOB IN SACRAMENT MEETING WHEN WE HAD AN INVESTIGATOR THERE… Awesome. Almost as good as three weeks ago when our investigator, Sam, was there and the Gospel Principles lesson was about becoming gods and our eternal increase… Yikes.
 
I’m sad to leave this area. I think I’m more sad to leave here than I was to leave State College. I love this ward so much. But I’ve made some stellar friends that I intend to stay in contact with. I’m excited to head on to a new place!
 
Oh, and this will be the first time in my mission that I’m just a normal missionary! Not training or in any sort of leadership position. It’s going to be so weird! But I am excited to work hard and do all I can to learn to be a better person! it’s awesome.
 
Love you all! Have an awesome week!

[Dad edits.  Since the time Sister Hanseen wrote this email, Dad has learned of her wherabouts.  Please make note of her NEW address below, and feel free to send love of all kinds to that address in BEAVER FALLS, PA!!!] 

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
62 Sunny Hill Dr.
Bldg. D
Beaver Falls, PA 15010
See ya Laaater Latrobe!

Happy New Year!!

Well everyone, this week’s email is probably going to be a little bit shorter for a couple of reasons. First, I just got to talk to you all on Wednesday and it was the best thing ever! Second, I got a lot of awesome emails today that I actually want to take the time to respond to. And third, not a lot happened this week if I’m being completely honest. Haha.

 
One random thing. I’m pretty sure I live in an apartment that’s like haunted by Jumanji. There’s always bird noises happening all around and whenever our heater starts up it sounds like all kinds of jungle animal life is totally barging around in the closet. So.. That’s a thing.
 
Also, sad note. Stamps are increasing in price at the first of the year. Stupid!! But still write me and I’ll love you forever. 🙂
 
So, it snowed on December 26… The day after freakin’ Christmas. Laaaaaame. Oh well. Christmas was so fun! We really just hung out and ate a lot and opened presents. It was kind of an emotionally taxing day at times but I was really just so happy that I was spending Christmas with people I love. The Townsend’s are like my favorite family ever. They were super nice and let me just have a moment by myself. Haha. And the missionaries I’m serving with are so awesome. I’ll be sad when we all change up in a couple of weeks.
 
On Christmas Eve we went to this family’s house and had some delicious prime rib and played card games and stuff. It was so fun. I felt right at home. That’s always the best when it’s a time that you could potentially be pretty trunky and homesick. 🙂
 
I feel like all of our investigators dropped off the face of the planet so there hasn’t been anything really noteworthy to talk about during the week. But our investigator, Sam, came to church yesterday! It was awesome because all the missionaries spoke in sacrament about testimonies. She really loved it! It was so awesome.
 
Oh! On Saturday night the elders had a baptism for their investigator, Shaun. He’s been investigating for about 5 months so it was way cool to get to see him enter the waters of baptism. It was definitely an exciting night! I felt like the sons of Mosiah being all excited about the success of my fellow missionaries! Elder Martin baptized him and Elder Little confirmed him–a first for both of them. It was awesome to get to share that experience with them. I sang some version of “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” that Elder Little is obsessed with. So that was cool. I had a sore throat so it could’ve been better but it’s all good. 
 
I’m so grateful to be out here. I know that there have been some bumpy patches here in Latrobe, but the Lord has been aware of me. I have felt His love in an indescribable way the past two months and I’m excited to see what the future holds. I’m so spoiled to have all of your love and support. Thanks for the letters, emails, prayers, packages, and well wishes! I love you all! Have a fantastic New Year!
 

— 

Love, 
Sister McKann Hanseen
216 N. Shenandoah Dr. #302

Latrobe, PA 15650
Image
                                        Someone was thoughtful!  Happy Birthday!!!
Image
                                                         “Cool” Bridge with icicles
Image
                                                    We’re cool Hatstas  (okay… pch just made that part up)
Happy New Year!!