So… there’s ups and downs to missionary work, right?

Well, I guess I just have to be real and open and honest. I’ve been that way since the beginning of my emails.. Right?
This week was hard.
The war against Satan is so real.
And he’s working on me more than ever before.
I hate to break everyone’s hearts that’s been rooting for Ciara, but the baptism will no longer be happening on August 16th as planned. It’s the beginning of the heartbreaks for the week.
So, coming out of last week with our great lesson with Ann and Alex, I was just on fire. I was ready to conquer the world. I was ready to tear up Elizabethtown like nobody’s seen since Romero & Stovall (okay pretty sure Grandma B is the ONLY one who will get that besides Sto herself haha). Really, though. I was just loving the work and getting so excited and I had all the faith in the WORLD that things were going to be okay.
Well, Ciara missed church. And then.. We didn’t hear from her for three days. We called and texted and we didn’t get any response. Which… a 22 year old with an iPhone.. yeah, she got the calls. And although it sounds like I was mad I really wasn’t I was just so confused and so worried about her because I truly love her as such a close friend, I can’t really describe it. I don’t think anyone gets that unless they’ve been a missionary. But I really just LOVE her! But, we had seen her car at home and I almost felt like I was in some sort of messy break up (hahahahahaha … oh boy. Yeah. It’s true though!) and I felt so sad. So, Wedensday we went on exchanges. Sister Morphy came with me to E-town (dolla make me holla honey boo boo child!! … Yeah. We love each other. We resurrected MEGABED). And we were talking about Ciara and we decided at the very end of the day to go visit her. Now you have to understand, she lives about a block away from us and we were driving home and it was literally 8:59 pm and I chickened out and drove around the block and then ended up going back and parking far away so we could walk up instead of getting out of the car in her driveway (because that’s just ALWAYS awkward). 9:00 pm… We walk into her driveway. Car’s not there. We start to walk back and she drives in. I wave and she parks and gets out and you can just cut the tension in the air with a knife. She immediately started apologizing for not responding and said she knew she was being rude but she wanted to compose her thoughts before she talked with us. You could just hear the quiver in her voice and you could feel she was hurting. But she told us she can’t be baptized right now. She told her family and they all freaked out and her mom had her preacher call Ciara and chew her out and then she’s supposed to go move with her mom in September and they’re all really against it and this is along run-on sentence but it’s just all the information that’s been playing in my mind for the past week. I cried. She cried. We talked about it. We told her that she can’t just stop meeting with us and stop going to church because then Satan wins. If she goes back into the cycle of not meeting and then meeting and wanting to be baptized, he wins. Because she’ll never build up the spiritual stamina to endure the hardship from her family. So she agreed to keep meeting with us and coming to church until she moves in September. But… I’m just still sick about it. I’m so sad. I called and put her name on the prayer roll at the temple and I fasted for her yesterday. But, prayers from the other side of the nation would be greatly appreciated on behalf of Ciara.
The other terribly hard thing was sitting in PEC yesterday and getting a text from Ann saying that they can’t come this week but they’ll be there for sure next week and she’ll call us later to explain… but she never called.
I’m still just trying to figure out why those things can happen. I just don’t believe that it’s a lack of faith on my part! I seriously have all the faith in the world that these people will do the things they’ve committed to do. And I remember praying on Sunday morning saying, “Heavenly Father, THANK YOU  that Ann and Alex are coming to church today! I’m so excited!” … Darn that stupid freaking agency. I’m OVER IT!! Okay.. not really. I think agency is the best thing we could be given but man. It is pretty frustrating right now.
But here, let me stop complaining and tell you the best news in the WORLD.
For the first time in a long time (if not, EVER)… Missionaries in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission will be allowed to attend…
Not kidding.
There’s about ten thousand requirements for how you can go (like it can’t be further than 2 hours from you… *cough cough* Washington DC Temple *cough cough* and you can’t drive a mission vehicle, etc…) But GUESS WHAT?! We qualify. Guess what else? There’s an awesome family in the ward who adopted this little boy, Owen, and they invited us to go to the sealing on August 23rd. … And the people who said they would take us are going to go do a session before the sealing. I GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!
So, when all else fails, just keep your eyes toward the temple. That makes everything in the world better.
Also, tender mercy for the week was this new Mormon Message.
Sometimes, like he says in the video, we have to stop waiting in the dark for someone to flip the light switch. We’ve got to try it out ourselves. In the Book of Mormon, Moroni promises that if we pray, we should ask God if these things are NOT true. Not for some glorious manifestation that they are. But that we try it, and it’s not bad, and we don’t see that it’s wrong.. So we keep moving forward. Little by little. We keep trying. We keep pushing. And one day, we build up so much faith in the principle that it’s impossible to deny.
The principle that I keep trying is to trust in the Lord. He has never let me down yet. I keep trying out the things He tells me to do and living the doctrines He’s taught, and I have yet to see something negative come from them.
So, this little missionary who had a bad week and didn’t necessarily see the purpose of the hard things that happened in the moment is still just pushing and still just trying. And most of all, trusting in the Lord.
And just remember, everyone has bad days… “Even in Australia.” 🙂
P.S. Say hello to Sister Morphy’s shadow. haha.

…. Squinty squinty with the sunshine in my eyes. The pictures Jodi sent me of the wedding are WAAAAAYYYY better than these ghetto ones but hey. look at that funny sign! Someone totally honked while we were taking pictures, too.

Sister McKann Hanseen
6 Williamsburg
Elizabethtown, PA
So… there’s ups and downs to missionary work, right?

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