I don’t know if all of my friends in missions where they get to attend the temple really understand the awesomeness of the fact that we now get to attend the temple in our mission! Seriously. It used to be a totally strict NO from the area assigned Seventy and now there’s rules and guidelines but it’s so much more of a GO! President Johnson hardly even asked questions of details.. He just said, “Go! Have fun! Be safe!” So, Saturday morning at 6:00 am we’re starting our drive down to the Washington DC temple and we’ll do a session before the Egbert’s sealing to their son, Owen. Man. I’m so excited. And with that being said..
So.. It’s been quite a while. It’s such a crazy hectic week and a half that I just can’t even fill in all of the gaps. But, because it’s been so hectic, journal writing has definitely been limited so I’m hoping by giving a really detailed email home that this week of my life will be adequately documented. J Day by day play-by-play? (I call it the DBDPBP.. haha jokes).. Yep. Here we go.
At the end of every day in my Missionary Daily Planner I have written two letters: TM. Standing for “tender mercy,” I have recorded a tender mercy every single day for the past 7 transfers (since last October). I’ll start with each TM from the days I’ve been away from you lovely folks. Aaaand.. some of the tender mercies really won’t necessarily be related to everything that happened that day but, hey! It’s my tender mercy, right?
Tuesday, August 12 TM: “Getting things done even without any plans—and seeing Vai Hunt!”
Well, early Tuesday morning we packed up Sis. Johnson’s luggage and drove to Harrisburg. We visited with all the other missionaries and then were given our logistics for the day. I found my new companion, Sister Kerby from Mesa, AZ, and we were able to actually head back to Etown right away. That has never been my experience on transfer day—I’ve always been in Pittsburgh area for the transfer meeting. So I had absolutely NO plans. But we were able to get back t Etown with enough time to get to our service a the senior center and then visited a bunch of people. We ended up teaching two lessons and then visiting the Hunt’s and I LOVE them so that was great!
Wednesday, August 13 TM: “Sweet corn at the Bushey’s and seeing Sister Raleigh again.”
Wednesday we went over across the river for the first time for a dinner appointment with the Bushey’s! I felt like I was jail-breaking or something when I crossed the Susquehanna River! Wooooo! And they had awesome sweet corn. I think that’s going to be one of the things I miss most. The Pennsylvania sweet corn is really the best corn on the cob that I’ve ever had. Mmmmm. We then had a meeting with our bishop and ward mission leader.. and the elders, of course. And it was… Well, it was kind of different. And it wasn’t looking great. But a little foreshadowing… The ward council meeting on Sunday was AWESOME!
Thursday, August 14 TM: “’Carried Away’ by Passion Pit was laying at Sheetz.”
Thursday was the first District Meeting with the new district. The new members of the God Squad include: Sister Wade (Lititz), Sister Kerby (my companion), and Elder Masina (Etown)… Elder Masina is a brand new missionary and it’s great to be around some of that greenie fire again! It’s been a while! Then we spent a lot of time packing to move.
Friday, August 15 TM: “Getting to hang out with the ward at the talent show! Love them.”
We did Weekly Planning and the got packing up our car with all of the small stuff we could fit in it! We did our walk through at our new apartment in Marietta and then we headed to the ward talent show! Man. Ward activities are seriously the genius behind unifying a ward. It was so fun to be with all the members and watch everyone be a little goofy. And I may or may not have gotten a nice video of the elders dancing on stage with all the young men… Hahaha! So great.
Saturday, August 16 TM: “Talking with Jen Clow at the wedding reception.”
We moved on Saturday! We got pretty much everything in two trips. It was pretty quick and painless. Then after spending most of the day unpacking, we went to a wedding reception for the bishop’s son and daughter-in-law, and it was really awesome. We had some great conversations with members, some of our less active members were there, and we really bonded with the youth. Plus, Sis. Kerby got to meet a lot of the members. It was actually a really effective use of time. It’s always awesome when something fun is also a really good use of your time. Then you just feel super sweet as a missionary!
Sunday, August 17 TM: “Awesome ward council this morning!”
So.. Ward Council. I prefaced it before but OH MAN. It was seriously so great. There were assignments being made, and minutes being kept, and specific timelines, and discussions rolling and…. Yeah. Pretty sure Elder Durham and I were like BEAMING the whole time and we just kept shaking our heads in disbelief. Many weeks of fasting and prayer and study in order to seek the guidance of the Lord in how we can help this amazing ward become more focused on missionary work and how to get things done have really paid off. It was just an awesome time. Then… We had like 12 less active members at church. That just doesn’t happen in my world, people. But it did! Man. It was great. We also had dinner at the Shaffer’s and they made a classic Pennsylvania Dutch dish: Chicken and Waffles. But not the southern kind with fried chicken that you’re thinking. More of the… Well.. I can’t even describe it. But man. It was GOOD.
Monday, August 18 TM: “Getting to see everyone at Mission Tour–and talking to Sister Johnson after :)” .. My mission president’s wife is the cutest, by the way. Just in case anyone was wondering. She’s the best. We always just bond at all of our meetings.
We had Wilford Andersen of the Second Quorum of the Seventy come to visit our mission this week and Monday was filled with great spiritual edification. AWESOME. I learned a lot about the second step that we need to take when helping an investigator make and keep commitments. We have to invite the Spirit… Seems pretty basic, right? But I was just learning so much more about how to be more effective with that!
…And can I get an AMEN to the cousin friend Josh Buehner who said that zone meetings are more like a big family reunion? YEAH. That’s always been a big highlight for me since my very first Zone Training in Altoona Zone back in the day… Sweet memories.
Tuesday, August 19 TM: “Being exactly lead by the Spirit to find Sister Aipa driving right when she needed us.”
LONGEST story short. Sis. Aipa. Recent convert. Living with a less than welcoming daughter who is basically kicking her and her 5 children under the age of 18 out of the house. Her car’s broken down and she’s living off child support. We visited in the afternoon and it was just complete chaos. She was so stressed about where to live, the kids were running everywhere, it was hot outside, two men were trying to fix her car and in the middle of fixing it seemed to break something else… Chaos. We prayed with her, sang primary songs with the kids, read them a story, read the scriptures with her, prayed some more… And nothing seemed to really help. But we had to go to an appointment. We told her we’d call her after. Went to dinner, then called… No answer. So, let’s go visit Grace, I guess? Knock … knock… knock… no answer. Okay let’s go to see Bradley upstairs… No answer. Hmmm.. Maybe we can find Jalinn at the fair and talk with her and her family? Okay.
We drive out of the neighborhood at 8:00 pm and pull up to a stoplight. There’s a white Jeep Cherokee in front of us with a FL license plate.. Then, I notice the “Aipa Surfboard” sticker on the back of the car that I had noticed earlier in the day and I scream, “SISTER KERBY THAT’S SISTER AIPA CALL HER RIGHT NOW!!” We’re waving her down and she pulls over in a gas station, gets out, and just starts bursting into tears. We hug her and hold her and just comfort her.
Man. Seriously. This doesn’t even sound that cool through email but it was perfect. She needed that so badly right then just to calm down and we just SHOWED up out of the blue. No such thing as a coincidence when an omniscient being is involved. 🙂 I just feel blessed to have had that experience.
Wednesday, August 19 TM: “Coke and Funnel Cake at the Etown Fair!”
Yeah… Took our dinner break at the ETown fair. It was great. Definitely ate some crappy-for-your-body-delicious-for-your-mouth food. Awesome.
OH and picked up Bradley, Grace’s grandson as a new investigator!
And now it’s Thursday and we’re headed to the temple on Saturday and I’m just pumped.
Well that’s it everyone! It’s been a great 10 days since we last spoke. Looking forward to working hard these next few months!
Love you! Miss you!
- Free Soft Pretzels when we went to a members’ neighborhood! So yummy. Eastern PA is obsessed with pretzels, BEETEEDUBS.
- Me and my (kind of??) cousin, Elder Whipple! Buehner’s will love that. 🙂
- Share a Coke with a friend! And a funnel cake!
And McKann gets to live right next to the Susquehenna river!
And Train tracks in Marietta..
Sister McKann Hanseen
316 Rivermoor Dr.