April showers bring MAY FLOWERS! Seriously!

So it’s like all of a sudden, Spring just punched Pennsylvania in the face and was like, “HEY I’M HERE!” … And my allergies decided to punch me in the face as a result. Haha. No, just kidding. They’re not that bad but I’m definitely grateful for allergy medicine to just make me a teensy bit less stuffy than I would be otherwise.

I feel like there was so much packed into this past week that I can’t even start to describe it.

On Tuesday, we had exchanges. I stayed in Beaver again but this time our new STL, Sister Thomas came with me. She and I just had a BLAST. I don’t know what it is about exchanges but they just rejuvenate me and help me have so much fun in the work! It’s great. She and I had some awesome experiences. We had a team up with Sister Weeks, the Bishop’s wife (and just about my favorite person ever) and we went to visit a less active. On the way home she stopped and bought us this DELICIOUS chocolate milk… Like the best chocolate milk I’ve EVER had. And I’ve had BYU chocolate milk so.. Yeah. It’s divine. And she’s just the best. Then in the evening, Sister Thomas and I went to visit a less active part member family and it was AMAZING. I can’t even describe it all very well but I just saw so many miracles happen in just that one meeting. There is so much potential for this great family and I think they are going to be someone we greatly focus on in the coming weeks. The 15-year old daughter, Lacey, wants to be baptized. So she’s our primary focus and we’re hoping to help her parents become active again. It won’t happen overnight, but it’s definitely a great start.

On Thursday we had interviews with President Topham and it was my last one with him as my mission president! It was actually on the 24th, my year mark, and it was kind of sentimental in that way. We talked a lot about what I’ve learned on my mission and how I’ve changed, and more importantly how I’m going to STAY changed. That’s the really important part. Staying changed by your mission. Continuing to do the little things like reading scriptures and attending church and letting that be the Lord’s way of sculpting you into who He needs you to be. It’s all crazy and exciting and I love thinking about how much potential I truly have to stay changed!

I will say, though… My personality is still pretty much the same. I still don’t really have a filter and I say weird things and laugh at everything. And create awkward situations unintentionally. I’m still a huge klutz and I still speak sarcasm as a second language. .. I should probably work on that last one, though. 😉 Haha.

We had a cool experience, though. A few weeks ago, Sister Wilde and I decided that we really don’t know anything about the Stop Smoking Program we’ve been given and thought we should maybe study it so we could offer it to someone. Well, we did that, not thinking much of it, and moved on. Then on Friday, we got a call from a member in Butler telling us that her less active daughter just moved to Beaver and wants to quit smoking. She told her daughter we’d be coming by to offer the program to her. What?! Yeah. Just a small miracle there. We should be meeting with her this week sometime if we can get in contact. Her boyfriend isn’t a member so we’re hoping to be able to find a teaching opportunity from that.

We’ve been spending lots of time outside in the sun. Contacting. Doing studies outside if we can. Working on our area book. It’s just been so pleasant. I’ve gotten a little bit SUNBURNED even! But don’t worry.. I’m going to do all I can to keep from repeating the 4th of July sunburn incident from last year. Here’s a picture in case you forgot: (and yes, I look hideous. That was a rough day. Haha)

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Well kids, I’m out. I am so grateful for everyone praying for me and wishing me the best! It makes a difference, I promise.

Love you all! Have a fantastic week.

Love,
Sister McKann Hanseen
256 East End Avenue

Beaver, PA 15009
April showers bring MAY FLOWERS! Seriously!

You know it’s P-Day When…

…Your studies are pretty rough because you’re just excited to email home. And the other thing is… You know it’s P-Day when you’re in the middle of personal study and you’re reading “Jesus the Christ” (yeah, can you believe I’m attempting conquering that beast?) and it’s talking about the three wise men and it reminds you of the song “Shots” so you’re singing that in your head the rest of the study hour. I’m so embarrassed. Nobody go listen to that song but just trust me that if you’re on your mission and some less active member starts playing it to get her grandchildren to dance for you in the middle of your visit then it’s going to come back and haunt you when you’re in the middle of studying “Jesus the Christ.”

Moving on.

Well, I got this cute little notepad at Target the other week that has days of the week on it. So I wrote down some highlights every day and I’m gonna do it that way. Just bear with me.

Monday.

After we emailed we went shopping for the regular groceries and then went back to the apartment. I laid down and took a TWO HOUR NAP holy cow that was crazy and awesome. Anyway, that night we went to the DeBaker’s house for dinner. We go there a lot and I love them. The little boy, Eli, reminds me so much of Brenner so it’s always fun. We joined in on their FHE and played this game called “Funny or Die” where there’s a bunch of ridiculous pictures with captions and you have to just match up the funniest ones. So fun.

Tuesday.

Well. It was 80 degrees on Sunday and then 25 on Tuesday. IT SNOWED ALL DAY. Nothing stuck but seriously, what the crap? I was so confused. And then I really wasn’t at the same time because it just felt like Spring in Utah. But it was kind of annoying when we were helping someone wash windows to get their house ready to sell and it just got all ruined by the dumb frozen water. Woooo. Anyway, we did service and then the night before the elders had given us a media referral that had accidentally been sent to them. They lived in New Brighton, so we headed up there. She was home and we visited with her but she’s Pentecostal and part way through the lesson her husband came in and was yelling at us about how he “doesn’t believe that Joseph Smith wrote a book of lies!” And I really wanted to be smart with him and be like, “Yeah, dude, I don’t believe he wrote a book of lies either! 1. It’s not a book of lies and 2. He didn’t write it! So you’re totally right!” But I think I would’ve gotten lynched so I didn’t say that. Instead we just prayed and left. Haha. Not going back THERE again! Oh well. We were grateful for something to do. But my heavens… The experiences I’ve had in the New Brighton, PA projects are just ones for the books.

Wednesday.

This was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. I just had a lot of fun. We had District Meeting and it was the first one with the new District Leader, Elder McDonald. He and I came out at the same time but we didn’t know each other in the MTC. He’s pretty awesome. Definitely a great addition to our district. Anyway, President Topham has recently banned District Lunches (meaning we go out to eat after district meeting AKA  the highlight of District Meeting) and it’s been really depressing. But he said we can pack a lunch and eat at the church. So we did waffles and sausage and it was so fun. We just laughed and joked around the whole time. Then, we found out the Cranberry Sisters had a baptism and we were doing way good on miles so we said we’d come back that night. Well, in between that we went to visit a member in Rochester, which is on the way back to Beaver from Cranberry. And she mentioned this girl that is the property manager of Sunnyhills Apartments, where we used to live. Weirdly enough, I had been thinking about that girl that morning during studies… And so had Sister Wilde! What the heck?! We took it as a sign and decided we’d go see her the next day. More on that for Thursday… Anyway, we went back to Cranberry for the baptism and it was awesome. It’s always fun to get to do things out of the ordinary and we just got to bond with our district so much more. I had felt so deprived of normal social interaction so it was just what I needed.

Thursday.

In the morning, we helped clean a different members’ house who just moved in to a total fixer-upper. It was fun though. I love wearing pants. Anyway, we went back to that girl at Sunnyhills and just talked with her and it was really cool because she wasn’t even that (externally) weirded out by it! And like three angry tenants came in while we were there and as soon as we said something to them their whole demeanor changed. Like freakishly. It was really crazy. Hopefully that stood out to her. Anyway, we invited her to church for Easter and she said she’d come but then she didn’t. But we were happy with it anyway for the time being. Then we had our dinner appointment cancel so we went and ate at this little restaurant in Beaver called Yama and it was the first time I had good sushi since I came on my mission. Actually, pretty much the first time I had it not from a grocery stor in a YEAR. Mmmm… I’m gonna convert Sister Wilde to sushi just you wait.

Friday.

(Okay I’m starting to realize that this is the LONGEST EMAIL EVER I’M SO SORRY).
We  had Weekly Planning (gag). But the elders called us and told us that they ran into a lady at the store when they had to run in for a minute and she told them she was baptized in Virginia and then got super anti-ed by this group of excommunicated members. But then she moved back here and a few weeks ago she found the missionary that baptized her on Facebook and was talking to him and then THE NEXT DAY…. We showed up at her house! So… Betsy is definitely looking promising. And the Lord works in mysterious ways. Holy mackerel.

Saturday.

Pretty much just did some contacting and then went to the Cranberry Sisters’ OTHER baptism. Man. I’m proud of them. It’s been awesome to see their success. Especially since Sister Gates and I are pretty close. It’s just been really cool. Afterward, we went with those sisters to Rita’s–this delicious little Italian ice and frozen custard place all over PA, and then Primanti Brothers–this total Pittsburgh restaurant that apparently just went public and might be all across the nation pretty soon. But it’s delicious.

Then… Here’s the best thing….

Bishop Weeks and his son were driving back from the BYU Men’s Rugby game against Dartmouth and were driving through Maryland and guess what they brought us at 8:30 pm? CAFE FREAKIN’ RIO. Not even kidding! The closest one out here is right by the DC temple and they drove through so they could get all themselves and all the missionaries Cafe Rio. So… Yeah. I had Cafe Rio on Saturday and I have leftovers to finish today. I’M IN HEAVEN. DID THAT SERIOUSLY HAPPEN? I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M ACTUALLY ONE OF “THOSE” UTAH MISSIONARIES THAT MISSES CAFE RIO SO MUCH. Okay enough caps.

Sunday.

Easter! And what a beautiful Easter it was. I just felt so blessed every hour to be uplifted by the Spirit in the confirmation that He lives and He is risen! How amazing.

Sister Wilde and I enjoyed a nice evening walk (aka we went street contacting by the river next to our apartment) and it was perfect. Then we had studies to finish so we put a blanket out on our balcony and read scriptures and wrote in our journals until the sun went down at about 8:45. It was just so pleasant.

Everyone, this has been far too long but I just want you all to know that I know that my Redeemer lives! How amazing. I can’t describe the peace that it brings me to know that I will be able to live in the rest of our Lord and Savior as I keep his commandments and the covenants that I’ve made. I’m so grateful for that knowledge!

Happy one year to me. 🙂
Ew. I’m getting old. And by the looks of my raggedy clothes, you can really tell. Haha.

The elders gave us Easter Baskets!

LtoR: Sister Wilde, Me, Elder McDonald, Elder Ashton, Sister Aston, Sister Gates

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Below-  LtoR Sister Larsen, Sister Thomas (sister training leaders), Sister Hanseen, Sister Wilde

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Clues to the area I’m tracting in… below..

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Sister Hanseen studying on the balcony

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Cafe Rio!!

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You know it’s P-Day When…

84 Degrees and a smile on my face!

Man oh man. This week has had some BEAUTIFUL weather. And I’m sure you all really care about that but seriously! It’s just added to the awesomeness of the week.

I do have a new companion! Sister Crockett ended up in Monongahela and is in the same ward as my friend Samarah’s family. Weird! Anyway as for the newb… Her name is Sister Wilde and she is from Brigham City, Utah. Actually she’s from Perry? (I don’t know if that’s how it’s spelled). But she lives literally right across the street from Maddock’s … that awesome restaurant that I want to go to! But it’s okay, the McBride’s in the ward here said that when they come out to Utah in December they’ll take me there. Haha. Weird that I will actually be there when people are headed back out to the motherland! Sister Wilde knows my friend Chance Allen’s family so that’s cool (he was my coworker at the great Outdoors Unlimited). Anyway, Sister Wilde has been out about 6 months and was actually MTC Companions with my most recent trainee, Sister Hathaway. She served in Moon before this and it’s just across the river in the Pittsburgh 6th ward. But the best part is, she’s so ready to go and get out there and talk with EVERYONE. So there are bright things in store for the Beaver Valley North area. HOLLA!

We actually have had some more change this week. We got a new Ward Mission Leader yesterday and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Our last one did SO much work and was really dedicated but he struggled working with the sisters. So, I’m grateful for a fresh mind to pick and new opportunities that come with change.

We had a Zone Training meeting on Wednesday which was great, as always. Elder Weatherston just got made a Zone Leader for my zone and I am so excited! He’s such a champ and I think he really has what it takes to whip this zone into shape. 🙂

This week we had some good highlights:

–We had dinner at the Rambo’s and Bro. Rambo is like… Well, have you seen those Dos Equis commercials of “The Most Interesting Man in the World?” … That is him. Not kidding. His next adventure is to go to Colorado and wrestle and alligator. And he’s not joking either. He has like 300 guns and pretty much anything you would possibly need in a zombie apocalypse. And of course, Sister Wilde had to get the new missionary initiation tour of their house. They just have like a museum in their house of all this cool stuff. It’s great.

–We helped do some service for a member family and I got to use their pressure washer and it was a blast. I think I’ve found a new love for pressure washing. (Side note–this is also a huge sign that I’ve obviously been on my mission for way too long because pressure washing was legitimately really fun for me. hahahahahaha).

–We were outside a lot on Saturday and I got my first sunburn of the season! Mmmmmhmmmm.

–We had a great opportunity to sing in the Stake Easter Fireside yesterday. We sang some amazing songs and it really was a miraculous night. Every practice we had was just really rough. I honestly didn’t think it would come together. But, of course, it totally came together and there seriously must have been angels singing with us. What a privilege to be able to worship through music and share talents through the spirit!

Now, for a different story. We were tracting on Saturday and we met these three guys in their garage. They were just standing there and we went up and asked them how it was going and asked what they were up to. The one guy just said, “I just buried my grandson.” And … I choked. Like HELLO we have this whole thing called the PLAN OF SALVATION and just nothing was coming out. I don’t know if that was like a stupor of thought or what. All I could tell him was that I was so sorry and that we would be praying for him. But it was the weirdest thing. I felt so bad. But I think we’ll go back and just tell him that we’ve been thinking about him and see if maybe there would be another opportunity to help offer some comfort and solace. It was kind of a slap in the face though to realize that just because you’ve been on your mission for almost a year doesn’t mean you will always know what to do! Thank goodness that the Lord believes in second chances, though. I will definitely be going back there and trying to help this grieving family.

That’s pretty much it for this week.

Sadly… I don’t even have any pictures! What the heck? I know. Lame. I’ll work on it!

Have a great week everyone! Love you all!

Love,
Sister McKann Hanseen
256 East End Avenue

Beaver, PA 15009
84 Degrees and a smile on my face!

CONFERENCETRANSFERSELDERHOLLANDCOMINGOHMYHECK

Yes, yes. You read that right. There is so much NEWS to give. The biggest and best of that news is that I think I am the LUCKIEST MISSIONARY ALIVE because, even though we had Elder Bednar and Elder Rasband come to our mission last June, and Elder Arnold in October…. ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND IS COMING ON MAY 22ND TO THE PENNSYLVANIA PITTSBURGH MISSION!!! Yes. I know. I am like fainting at the thought. I couldn’t be more excited. I came out here at the perfect time. I feel so spoiled! It’s really cool because when Elder Bednar came, President Topham thought that it would be the only time than he and Sister Topham would have the entire mission together in their 3 years of service. But about a month before they are heading home, they get to have us all together again.That’s almost the coolest part of the whole thing. Well.. Almost. 🙂 I’m so excited.

Anyway, in other news… I am now starting my 9th transfer as a missionary in Pennsylvania and it is so crazy. I only have 5 left?? When did that happen? I don’t even know. But Sister Crockett is, in fact, getting transferred. Tomorrow her and another sister from Butler will head to Pittsburgh while I stay with another missionary in Beaver. Then the two new companions will just drive back and show up in Beaver and be like, “hey WHAT’S UP NEW COMPANION?!” So… It’ll be a total mystery to me who my new companion is until about 5:00 pm EST tomorrow. Exciting! Ahh. There are a few sisters I know who are being transferred who I would just DIE AND GO TO HEAVEN if they were my companion. (Ignore that terribly worded sentence and just embrace the grammar mistakes that are so the epitome of Pennsylvania). But really, I am excited. There are a lot of things that really COULD take off in Beaver if we have the right people here. I know the Lord knows just what we need here and I trust Him to bring in someone that can help me get this area on its feet. It’s interesting how we need different people at different times and how they need us. I’ve seen that a lot with my mission the past couple transfers especially and I’m excited to see how I can continue to be molded into who Heavenly Father needs me to be… And knows I can be! That’s so awesome. He trusts us so much.

This week was kind of slow… As it has been… But it was good. We visited with a lot of people and I really sincerely felt like we helped uplift them. We didn’t have a lot of lessons, but we did help them in different ways and sometimes that’s just what they need. So I’m grateful for that.

Conference was so amazing. Of course, right?! It’s the apostles and PROPHET that are speaking to us. I missed two of the talks Sunday morning because of some technical difficulties but I am looking forward to watching them later this week, along with the talks from Priesthood session. But, I have a request, family!! So, we get the Ensign as missionaries but we only get one copy per companionship. Because we don’t really have unlimited access to computers, that means that the May edition of the Ensign is coveted material for study times. Is it possible that you can send me my own copy when the May Ensign comes out? We never get them right away, either, because they just distribute them at the nearest zone meeting or transfer meeting.. Anyway, I would love that more than ANYTHING!

Anyway, I felt so inspired by Conference. I don’t have my notes with me but I just pray that everyone can really continue to study the words from Conference. They are sacred and important and I learn so much as I continually study them. There is much to be learned! What a privilege it is for us to have those words so easily accessible. Take advantage of that! It’s a blessing.

Everyone, I know this Gospel is true. It is simple and it is TRUE. How beautiful. We can know these things for ourselves and receive the SAME witness through the Holy Ghost that the apostles and prophet have. There is no qualification for a testimony other than an open heart and real intent. Truly amazing.

I love you all. Thank you for the continued support. I look forward to sharing the future experiences of the work! Have a great week!

Oh and this is Elder Vassallo and I when we freakishly matched. He’s getting transferred so this will be the first time in our missions we’re not serving together! That’s almost a year serving together. Haha. So weird. Inline image 1

Love,
Sister McKann Hanseen
256 East End Avenue

Beaver, PA 15009
CONFERENCETRANSFERSELDERHOLLANDCOMINGOHMYHECK