Back in the 801.

Everyone. It is so good to be back. Of course, I’m definitely missing Pennsylvania something awful. But, I have had such a great few weeks getting home and being able to spend time with family and friends. Much has changed, but there is an undeniable familiarity and sense of home that comes from being, well, home. I have felt the spirit so strongly as I have continued to seek after good things and I have been so grateful for the small, delicate witnesses of the Lord’s love and awareness for me as I have made this transition back to civilian life. There will be things that will be weird to get used to for quite some time to come, I’m sure. But I have been grateful that my transition has been about as smooth-sailing as I ever could’ve imagined. I’m excited to be back in a position where I can blog about whatever I darn well please and hopefully share some goodness in this world.

Love yinz. Keep it classy.

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Back in the 801.

MTC – first days

(As added by Peter Hanseen)
From Sister McKann Hanseen:
This is my first P Day (actually it’s PTime because we only get like three hours but it’s whatever) and I only get 30 minutes to email so hopefully I can get everything in.
It’s so crazy that I’ve only been here a few days. I literally feel like I have been in the MTC for MONTHS and it’s like I almost don’t know what regular life is like. What’s really weird is to think that I took 3 finals on Monday… Yeah. That happened. Didn’t it? I can’t quite remember. My memory is being fogged by the SPIRIT. Seriously. I know that everyone says that the Spirit is so strong here but it really is. I can’t believe how much I seem to feel it. Though, it was really cool to realize that I was already feeling the Spirit quite frequently and now it’s just amplified.
I LOVE MY DISTRICT. Seriously it’s so fun. We are all getting along so swell. We are all going to Pittsburgh and I’m pretty sure we are leaving a week from Monday so I was right in my estimation of leaving about 12 days after entering the MTC. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the halls of Timpview High School because I just walk around and I see seriously EVERYONE I’ve ever known and more. It really sucks to see some of my guy friends because I want to hug them so bad but I can’t! I saw Travis Tyler like 3 times the first day and I haven’t seen him since, but rest assured–he’s just about the gosh darn cutest Elder out there. He’s got some studly glasses and I’m pumped I even saw him the first day. We didn’t get to take a picture though so I’m praying I’ll see him again! Elder Jacob Boekweg is in my district, though and he went to high school with me. He was in choir and I was really good friends with his older brother, Isaac. The rest of the run down goes like this:
Me and Sister Bateman
Sister Bateman is from American Fork. We could NOT be more opposite. So opposite, in fact, it’s kind of hilarious. She’s super tall and just really a lot bigger of a human being than me. She has SHORT short hair. She was a trumpet player, loves fantasy books, and openly admits to being a “gamer.” I saw her taking selfies with her stuffed cow this morning while I was getting ready so… Just use your imagination. 🙂
Sister Robertson and Sister Pau’u
Sister R is from New Mexico but moved to Kaysville a few years ago and graduated from Davis High School. She did journalism in high school so that’s fun. She’s pretty chill. Kind of just easy going and I really like her. I think we share some similar senses of humor and it’s been good to see her come out of her shell.
Sister P is from California. She’s Tongan and she is seriously my favorite. She is so hilarious. She basically just like shoved a bunch of stuff in her bags and her mom bought her random stuff so it’s always Russian Roulette when we’re getting ready in the mornings. She keeps me laughing and I totally love her.
It’s kind of frustrating though because none of these sisters really love working out at all and I can already feel this garbage cafeteria food going right to my thighs. Please sisters. WE NEED TO WORK OUT.
Then for the Elders.
Elder Weatherston and Elder Adamson
Elder Weatherston is 6’10” and he’s freaking hilarious. I always sit next to him, mostly because it’s just so dang funny. He’s pretty solid. Has a beautiful singing voice. Is from Idaho. And I love his comments in class.
Elder Adamson is from Orem and he’s way short so that pairing is pretty comedic. He’s kind of a goof ball and has us laughing a lot. Sometimes I get a teensy bit frustrated because I’m really striving for EXACT obedience and that isn’t really his thing all the time but I know he’s trying. So that’s good. 🙂
Elder Boekweg, Elder Justesen, and Elder Vasallo
Elder Boekweg is from Provo. Just a sweet, awesome guy. He’s from the 2012 graduating class and he’s just solid. He makes some comments that I really admire and I think I will remember for a long time.
Elder Justesen is from West Valley and he’s the first elder I met. He’s pretty chill and kind of keeps the equilibrium in the class between everyone. He likes to joke around and have fun, but he’s really good at getting down to business when he needs to.
Elder Vasallo is so stellar. He’s from Ogden and he’s actually 24. He has talked a lot about how he wasn’t in a place in his life where he even could have served a mission and he’s so grateful to be here. I can just tell. He EXUDES christlike attributes and I feel like we are so blessed to have him in our district. He got assigned to be District Leader and I couldn’t be more pleased with his leadership.
As a district, we have memorized our purpose as missionaries and we are working on memorizing all of D&C 4. Then we will work to memorize some important scriptures from the first vision. We really love each other. We have a spotlight every day. We pray together all the time. We eat together. And we sing together. I’ve started a new thing where we do KNUCKS instead of bumps or anything and it’s totally catching on (credit for that goes to Bryce and Jason Willardson, Blake Wheeler and crew). It’s hilarious. They all are obsessed and we literally do it after EVERYTHING that we accomplish.
Sister Sedgwick and Brother Fuller are our teachers and I’m basically obsessed with Sis S. because she has just been on fire with teaching. She’s so inspirational. And I can tell that she really cares about us. She is super mindful of our worries and concerns and I appreciate that. I don’t really know Brother Fuller that well yet but he seems pretty great too.
We got “progressing investigaors” and mine’s name is Danielle. She is dating a Mormon and wants to know more about the church because her boyfriend and his family talk about it a lot but she doesn’t want them to know that she’s looking into the information in fear that they will think that she is trying to convert. We had our first lesson yesterday and I kind of felt like we bombed it at first because I kept like begging Sister B. with my eyes to say something and she just really wouldn’t. She WAS SILENT. I didn’t know what to do. Before I knew it I was inviting this poor Danielle to baptism and I was kind of mortified. BUT SHE DIDN’T SAY NO. She said she would think about it. She said she would read the BOM. We are “stopping by” today to drop off one for her and we hope to talk to her some more about God and how much He really does love her, and help invite her to pray. I’m crossing my fingers and praying so hard that it goes well.
Sister Steffany Bird is in my zone and it’s been way awesome to see a familiar face all the time. I’ve also seen: Jonny Bigelow, Maren Young, Amy Davis, Tate Jeppson, Shannon Goettsche, Hannah Lutz, Libby Baum, Peter Fuller and so so many more people I can’t even remember.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE USE DEARELDER.COM. It’s so easy and it means I get printed off letters every day for FREE. Don’t worry. I’ve already gotten like FOUR from Carl Wayne Andreason. WHAT THE HECK I GOT FOUR FROM  HIM AND NONE FROM ANYONE ELSE.
These are people I would really love to hear from:
ALEX WHITE
MICHAEL TYLER
CONNOR GOODWIN
RACHEL PETERSON
TYLER HILL
And many more but those are the ones I have time to list.
Family and friends I love it here. Sorry this letter wasn’t super spiritual. I promise I’m having the time of my life. IT IS SO HARD. But so much more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. I’m growing so much. I’m being humbled. I’m being healed by the Atonement and by the Spirit. I am so blessed. Thank you to all who have made it possible to be here. I am so overwhelmed with how much I appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for me to be here and more importantly: THE LORD IS GRATEFUL. I can feel Him being thankful for my service and everyone’s contribution.
Love,
Sister Hanseen
MTC – first days

Is This Real Life?

1daymore

I’m blown away. It seems like time likes to slap me in the face a little bit. It plays cruel tricks. Like bringing some of my friends back only a week before I have to leave. Not ideal timing if you ask me. But I can’t express how grateful I am that it happened, no matter how short of time we’ve had together.

For the past week, Alex, Travis, Michael, Connor, and I have been hanging out nearly every day. It’s been great. But tonight was the greatest.

We spontaneously drove up to Salt Lake. We went to the Cheesecake Factory. We sprinted through an empty City Creek trying to catch the carriage ride. We walked all the way around Temple Square. We met some people who took our picture. We drove all around the winding roads near the University of Utah’s campus. We talked about lots of stuff. We drove up by the Draper Temple. We took the back way home. We stopped and stared at the view. We stuck our heads out of the sunroof, even though it was bitterly cold. We listened to good music. We found the prettiest view around here you could even imagine.  We drove home safely. We hugged goodbye. We spent moments together that I really am never going to forget.

I can’t imagine a more perfect night with better people. I’m so glad that’s how I spent my last night before getting set apart. But I will say, it’s not making it much easier to leave now. Kind of a bittersweet moment.

Love you kids.

Mission stuff will be posted tomorrow.

TTFN.

Is This Real Life?

Last Friday.

Well, it’s currently my last Friday night of pre-mission life. I’m supposed to be studying. Instead, Rachel and I are sitting in my living room listening to Ed Sheeran, drinking Mt. Dew, listening to ridiculous things Brenner says, and eating cupcakes. Part of me thinks that I might regret not studying when  I get a terrible grade on my marketing test. But another part of me thinks that I would regret it a whole lot more if I was to just study and not spend time with anyone before I leave because it’s going to be people not papers that matter when I’m out there.. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

I’m so grateful for everyone who has been offering to help out or who has been helping. I am so sorry if I have been neglecting anyone’s willingness to help. It’s been so busy. But I have been overwhelmed with love and support by everyone and I apologize if I haven’t been able to show it back as much! I promise that you’re all in my thoughts and prayers and I am so thankful.

It’s getting close, kids. 8:00 pm on Tuesday I’ll be set apart as a missionary. Does it feel real? Do I feel ready? No. Not really. But it’s going to come regardless. So I’m diving in. Bring it on.

Last Friday.

Sunday Night Ponderings.

There’s been a lot on my mind as of late. All sorts of different emotions and all sorts of different things to be thinking about. It feels like sometimes we fail to take the time to just feel certain ways. We so quickly seek to change things and are constantly moving between one emotion to the next, especially when pertaining to negative things. I believe that there is so much potential for healing when we allow ourselves to truly BE a certain way, and FEEL different emotions. There is so much to be learned from experiences and earthly trials and woes, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

I was talking to some friends tonight about happiness and what it means in this life. I’m not sure how we got to it but I had a very distinct realization that there is something to be said for this earthly life. I realize that the end goal is exaltation and that essentially we are just here to be able to return back to our Father in Heaven, but I actually like earthly life. President Hinckley said “Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” I agree with that 100%. But the peculiar thing about me is that I enjoy hard things. I guess “enjoy” is kind of a generous word. But I thrive from overcoming obstacles. I am energized by knowing I can beat a hard time. I enjoy being triumphant through a dark patch.

Along with that, there is so much good in the world. I can’t even believe it. And, since I love making lists, I am going to give you a list of a few things I’ve been loving in my world lately:

-I love the weather. Rain, snow, sunshine. Bring it on. It’s all grand.
-Rachel has a cute family and I love that they include me so much. It’s such a blessing and I don’t think they will ever realize how much it has affected me!
-I know a lot of incredible people. I’m still amazed that there could possibly be more people that are as cool as the ones I currently know. People keep surprising me.
-I am so impressed with Imagine Dragons. I went to the concert on Friday and I am so proud of them for maintaining their standards and being such an example of good in this world, especially in the music industry that can be so corrupt.
-I am leaving on a mission in exactly one month. Yes, it is terrifying. But it is also very exciting and crazy and every other emotion!
-My sisters and dad are so cool and I love hanging out with them.
-My dad is awesome and has lost 20 pounds in like two weeks. Whaaaat?! Eligible bachelor right there. 😉
-I wasn’t feeling well today and like four people came to visit me and brought me food. That is so awesome. People are good.
-I love Easter candy. Mostly Cadbury mini eggs and Reese’s eggs. I don’t even like Reese’s that much, but those little eggs are just so freakin’ good.
-I love the temple. It is such an amazing place. I’m really going to miss it for 18 months.
-Life is crazy and weird and awesome and great.

Love you kids. Thanks for being stellar.

Sunday Night Ponderings.

Where the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers Meet.

The first day in Geography 120: Geography & World Affairs, Professor Chad Emmett explained the importance and significance of Geography. He explained that one of the most valuable applications of geography is that you can make connections with anyone you come in contact with because, after all, everyone’s from somewhere. Professor Emmett’s example was that when you meet someone from Pittsburgh, instead of just saying “wow, that’s really cool,” you can instead say, “oh, Pittsburgh! Isn’t that where the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River meet to form the Ohio River?” By doing this, you’ve made a connection with that person and the place they are from.

Professor Emmett made reference to that example quite a few times in the course, and, in all honesty, it held quite little significance to me. I believe that is the last time the city of Pittsburgh will have been mentioned around me without any connection to it besides the occasional connection to my GEOG120 class at BYU.

Today, I received the most important piece of mail I have ever received in my entire life.

“Dear Sister Hanseen:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, April 24, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

Sincerely,
President Thomas S. Monson”

I am so humbled and honored that I have been called to serve the Lord in these last days by the current living prophet, President Monson. I have chance to put my life on hold, leaving all other affairs behind, and spread the word of God to the people of Pennsylvania. I get to serve them. I get to be with them. And I get to share with them the thing that I hold most dear to my heart in this life and the next–the thing that I believe produces joy beyond measure to those who have it and share it.

I’m one grateful gal.

Pennsylvania Pittsburgh. English. April 24th.
Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission.
Where the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers Meet.