High School Jounals and Keepsakes

I am so grateful that I kept journals in my youth. I am not as grateful for the lack of journal keeping in my young adult life.

Tonight, I was sorting through boxes of old stuff from my high school bedroom. My mom has kept boxes in her basement since I graduated high school and I haven’t seen them since then. It’s been nearly seven years, and going through the different papers and photos felt as familiar as though I’d been in high school last week.

I found my journals from the age of 13. I couldn’t help but read the heartfelt, funny entries. I literally laughed and cried as my eyes passed over this time capsule of emotions. It’s almost hard to comprehend how real those life events are to me still, even after all these years. It is difficult to understand how all of the experiences I had have woven together into the tapestry of my life.

In many ways, growing older has spoiled my sense of wonder. I’m skeptical and cynical at a lot of things. Even the thought of writing on a blog – something I used to do simply for the fun of it – feels like it should be strategic and SEO oriented because, why else write a blog?

I guess it’s safe to say that I probably have no readers on this blog at this point, so maybe it’s time to get in the habit again. Josh and I are moving to California in a few weeks for the next unknown amount of years – three at the very minimum! We have a whole life a head of us! And I have a lifetime of new journals to fill and blog posts to publish.

Here’s the future. Here’s to saying “goodbye” to old memories in old journals for now and  “hello” to new adventures.

High School Jounals and Keepsakes

I’m Way Bad At Titles.

There are simply some emotions that are indescribable in simply words. I can give a scenario to paint an image in one’s mind. That may help someone reading these words to put themselves into that picture. They imagine what they would feel if they were there. The actual feelings are too difficult to describe. And I kind of like it that way. It keeps them precious and, if you will, sacred. Emotions are eternal. But there’s something about a rainy evening. Something about listening to music that provokes memories and creates new ones. Something about returning home after an intellectual conversation with your mind still racing. Something about the hours of the night. Something about a new summer season with longer daylight hours and starrier skies. Something about friendships new and old. Something about adventuring through life one chaotic day at a time. I don’t understand even the smallest bit of life. But what I do know is that I am so grateful for the things I have in my life personally. I got really lucky to be given the experiences and people and challenges that I have. Sometimes I almost feel like I’m stealing more blessings than I deserve! I guess that’s just the grace of a loving Creator. He will always compensate beyond what we deserve. He will always make the pain and suffering worth it. He will always be aware of our needs. He will always love us, and that will be reflective in the intricacies of our lives as they unfold. My heart is full. That is the bottom line.

I’m Way Bad At Titles.

I Have All the Time in the World.

Since I’m kind of just bummin’ around in life right now (work doesn’t start until Dec. 22, and school doesn’t start until Jan. 5), I have some serious time on my hands. And I could do all sorts of things. But all I want to do is hang out with people! The problem? They all  have lives.


…. It’s a struggle. I should change my hideous blog. Maybe tomorrow.

In the meantime… here’s a picture from St. George. Cool houses, huh? Haha.





I’ll get there, you guys.

I Have All the Time in the World.

Mission Accomplished!!

.. stole that little tagline from Aimee. So creds go to her! I’m not as clever as it seems.
I cannot believe that this has all finally come to an end. It’s really been a great last week. But, it’s been filled with ups and downs. It’s been amazing how much I’ve learned about the doctrine of “enduring to the end” just in the past seven days. Satan literally has tried everything he possibly could think of to get me to throw in the towel and finish without a fight. But let me tell you, I told that Satan to scram! This week has been as busy as ever. We have been doing so many different things and my mind has been filled with so many thoughts.
This week, Elder Durham invited me to ponder what I have learned most from my mission. Then after I pondered it, he asked me to present a lesson on it during district meeting. It was a really good experience to be able to reflect on the things that I’ve learned. And honestly, overall, I’ve just learned so much about my divine heritage. I’ve probably said that before. But the knowledge and insight I’ve gained into the Plan of Salvation is truly amazing and will continue to bless my life. The understanding I’ve gained and the testimony I have that God is there for us and so aware of every acute detail of my life and of everyone else’s lives is so strong. And everything revolves back around that.
The quote that has been written on the back of my planner and that I have reflected on often during this last transfer is this:
“Endings are not our destiny….The more we learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that  endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions–temporary pauses that will one day seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.” –President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
As I’m at the end of my mission, of course I feel a lot of emotions. I feel anxious, excited, sad, happy, curious, determined, you name it. But the overarching feeling is just peace. Of course, my mission hasn’t been perfect. It’s been anything but easy. But it has been oh so good. God is good. He truly is. I’ve been so blessed. The blessings from serving a mission haven’t even hardly begun yet and my heart is already overflowing with gratitude. In the email he sent to the mission, President Johnson sent this quote today:
“You are making a sacrifice, but it is not a sacrifice because you will get more than you give up, you will gain more than you give, and it will prove to be an investment with tremendous returns. It will prove to be a blessing instead of a sacrifice. No one who ever served this work as a missionary, who gave his or her best efforts, need worry about making a sacrifice because there will come blessings into the life of that individual for as long as he or she lives. I have not the slightest doubt about that.” –President Gordon B. Hinckley
It’s been a fabulous ride. I’m so glad I came. See you soon everyone.
For Halloween, I was a dying missionary.. Haha. Knee slapper, I know. Sis. Kerby was Mary. 🙂
Vicky took us to Chocolate World… 🙂
Mission Accomplished!!

Leave it all in the field!!

Okay so just to get this out in the open because I think everyone and their dog has been asking me…
This is my last week. So I fly home November 5th (next Wednesday). My homecoming will be on Sunday, November 16th in the Edgemont 6th Ward Meeting. It will be at 9:00 am and the address for the chapel is 4056 Timpview Drive Provo, UT 84604.
Okay now that that’s all taken care of..
So we seem to have busy weeks and then slow weeks about every other week.
BUT  let me just start with this.
We taught Bro. James on Saturday and HELLO COMMITMENT TO BAPTISM. He seems so at ease with everything and our lesson on the Plan of Salvation went really well.
Okay I’m having like the hardest time with writing this email right now. I have no idea what to say about our week! Like stuff happened but I’m just not feeling very creative in my writing skills right now.
We walked a TON because our miles are kind of shot and honestly I realized that I have some definite work to do when I get home! Haha. Six days to sexy??? Yeah!!
Okay. So I think I’m just going to give you my tender mercies from the week:
Monday: Emails were top notch.
Tuesday: Dinner nap when I was exhausted. (haha it’s the truth, no hiding the facts people!)
Wednesday: Chatting with Lisa Allen for a few minutes when our plans sucked.
Thursday: Heather made chicken tika masala when I was super hungry.
Friday: The green cake at the Schmoel’s didn’t fall on my white skirt!
Saturday: I got to say bye to Sister Egbert before she left town.
Sunday: We got a ride to Etown and back!
Also, here’s a funny story.
So we got this referral for a lady named Patricia in Hellam. We drive to pretty much the very furthest part of our area (when we’re totally out of miles, mind you) and we knock on this trailer door. There’s a loud TV blaring inside and it’s playing some sort of preacher/minister program. Finally some lady answers the door with penciled-on blue eyebrows. She’s on the phone and keeps saying “bad time sister… bad, BAD time sister!” and then we were about to leave and this GARGANTUAN cat runs out of her screen door and she screams “WHEEZY! SISTER, GRAB HIM!” .. So, I go to pick up this cat and you know how usually there’s like bones on the underside of the cat? NOPE. Straight up blubber. Like beached whale of a cat right there. I give her the nasty thing back and then she starts saying how she’s overwhelmed because she’s moving the next day.
…Well we found ourselves back in her trailer the next morning to help her move and she has cartons of buttermilk laying everywhere and she’s drinking from like three of them… And then someone knocks at the door–supposedly the moving crew–and it was surreal. Like all these church people from some other church showed up and I seriously was freaking out. It was like we weren’t part of a Mormon church and we were watching all the Mormons show up. But they weren’t really that nice. They basically told us to leave because we wouldn’t be able to help.
.. Anyway, yeah. I guess Pennsylvania wanted to just keep me on my toes and make it so I could never forget what it’s like. And Wheezy the cat just kept rubbin’ up on Sis. Kerby the whole time. It was hilarious.
Okay everyone, sorry this email is totally non-spiritual. Honestly. I’ve felt so close to the spirit this last part of my mission, but I’m having a hard time putting things into words adequate to describe the power of it all. So I will have to just share those things at a later date.
I love you all! Have a great week. SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!
This is me failing to pick up a huge pumpkin. #awkwardforlife
I look hideous but when Patricia left the room when we were in the trailer we decided to document the moment… Haha. I WISH I could’ve gotten Wheezy in the picture. That would’ve been the icing on the cake.
Wow gross I promise I really don’t look like that all the time.
Leave it all in the field!!

An Adventure with the Spirit…

Okay so before I start my story of the week I just have to say… During district meeting the Lititz Elders were talking about their new investigator, Blossom, and I said something smart like, “Does she wear pink and black and fight crime?” and everyone just looked at me super weird… Except Sister Chavez. HELLO BABIES DID NOBODY EVER WATCH POWERPUFF GIRLS?! Seriously I guess I’m just a total 90’s kid and these little children coming on missions don’t even understand. Haha. Elder Masina always will say stuff like “this song came out when I was in 8th grade” (if we’re in a restaurant or something) and it’ll be some song that came out when I was a junior in high school. Haha. Old hag I am!
I want to just tell you one amazing story this week. There’s been a lot of good things and we taught a lot of lessons this week. But this one story is so great but it’s kind of lengthy. So here goes. Straight from my journal.
So, we had a plan to stop by Ann’s house and visit her. We’re driving from Columbia to Mt. Joy and we’re about five minutes away. We’re listening to a talk and all of a sudden the thought pops into my head to go see the James family. Here’s the mental dialogue following that thought:
“Well, we can just go there after we see Ann. Well… What if that was a prompting? I’m probably just thinking of them because I was thinking about our plans for the day. But maybe I should just follow this so I can continue to recognize the spirit. Maybe Sister Kerby will say something and then I’ll know. Okay really? What the heck, we can just go to the James’ first and then Ann’s.” … And then I said, “Sister Kerby I don’t know why but I’m kinda feeling like we should go to the James’ before we go to Ann’s.” We were at a stoplight and she said, “Okay, that’s fine. Actually it’s so weird you said that because I was really just thinking that we shouldn’t go to Ann’s but I didn’t know why and I wasn’t sure what else to do and then you said that.” So we pulled over and put the James’ address in the GPS (on a perfectly convenient pull-off space on a busy street that was just placed there for us…). We drove there and found it to be all dark and nobody was home. We had prayed before getting out of the car and I just knew we were on an adventure with the Spirit. But there was somewhere else w needed to be. We knocked the house next door–no answer. We got back in the car, said another prayer, felt like we should call a former. Left a message. Then, I just though, “well, I had the though to just go to the James’ first. Let’s go to Ann’s now.” So, we plug in Ann’s house and we start driving and I started thinking about Ryan and how he never texted or called us back. Well, then I’m thinking about how Ryan lives in Mt. Joy. But then, I just started praying and said, “I feel like we can go to Ryan’s after Ann’s but I’m not sure if I should say anything yet. Maybe we can see both tonight. Maybe Ann won’t be home.” But in what felt like an instant, we were about to turn down a road and across the intersection there was a white Mazda and Sister Kerby said, “Oh  every time I see a white Mazda now I just think of Ryan.” I about screamed and told her I had just been debating saying something about him. We immediately altered our course and found Ryan outside his house, beer in hand, on his way to a pub down the street.
I learned a miraculous lesson of following the Spirit and the importance of a companion’s second witness today. Neither of us would’ve had a complete prompting without the other one. and if one of us hadn’t said something in both instances, we wouldn’t have been led by the Spirit. We truly experienced heavenly unity in our companionship. I feel so overwhelmed and blessed. This experience is one I’m sure I’ll think about for a long time. Not to mention, our lesson with Ryan was outstanding. he is honestly what hope looks like to me right now. I am so fortunate to have  had this experience tonight!”
So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I’m loving this last little part of my mission. Definitely giving it all I can! It’s hard, but so so rewarding and worth it. I can’t wait to be able to share all of my experiences more in depth with all of you. I love you. I’m praying for you. This is truly the work of an Almighty God.
In the middle of the adventure I had to stop and take a picture next to the James’ giant M&M.. Sorry it’s sideways the computer won’t let me turn it!!
This place is beautiful.

Sister McKann Hanseen
316 Rivermoor Dr.
Marietta, PA
An Adventure with the Spirit…

Meet the Mormons, Stake Conference, Cold weather…

Okay. That was definitely a highlight of this week.
We got to watch Meet the Mormons this week at our zone meeting on Friday. It was seriously so good. I think it’s an amazing opportunity for the work to hasten. Not because it’s a proselyting tool, but it just clears up a lot for those who may be confused about who we really are. And here’s some fun facts about the opening weekend that President Johnson sent us today:
The box office results for this past weekend showed Meet the Mormons had the eleventh highest ($2.7 million) ticket sales of any movie in the country.  This ranking came despite the fact it was playing in only 317 theaters (the top ten movies were playing in an average of almost 2,800 theaters).  On a per theater sales basis, Meet the Mormons had the second highest ($8,500) of any movie!  Hopefully, in the coming weeks many more will see it and be touched by its’ message.
So pretty sweet! Those are some amazing results. It will be showing in our area next week and I cannot wait for our members to see it. If any of you haven’t seen it  yet, GO. Experience it in a theater setting. You will not regret it.
We did find a new investigator this week. His name is Jason and he’s Steve (our less active)’s son. He just showed up for the meeting when we were there and wants to be baptized! So, I think he will get baptized somewhere down the road.
We’ve been blessed with many people to teach here! We have a handful of lessons set up already for this coming week and there are some others that are in the process of being set up.
Updates.. Chris isn’t in our area. We thought he was but we’ll have to pass him off to the Lititz Sisters because he’s right on the border. He’ll probably be pretty upset considering he calls us his best friends.
Ryan has been kind of MIA but we got a call from the temple square sisters who were teaching him and they are concerned as well. We actually heard back from him last Monday night and he was really apologetic but he had a particularly difficult weekend with his addiction and didn’t want us to see him how we was. But he was supposed to meet with us yesterday and never showed up. We haven’t heard back from him through calls or texts but it’s just so sad because he seriously knows he needs this! The adversary is just working overtime on him. Hopefully we’ll be able to track him down this week.
We’re meeting with Bro. James this week and that will be awesome! His new work schedule has kind of mellowed out so we’ll be able to meet more regularly.
We visited Ann on Saturday and she’s hoping to have us over for dinner before I leave.
We’re meeting with Deb this week and I’m excited. We have some great lesson plans for her and we haven’t seen her in a while so I miss her!!
Okay so sorry none of that was really exciting but that’s okay.
We had interviews on Friday and I just love President Johnson. He is a truly compassionate man. I cannot believe how blessed I am to serve under him! He just kept telling me, “we’ll be seeing you all too soon in Pittsburgh!” .. great, even my mission president is getting trunky for me! Haha. Just kidding. Don’t worry, I’m not trunky. Excited? yes. Working hard still? definitely.
We  had Stake Conference Saturday/Sunday and there were some really amazing talks/experiences. I really cannot explain it over email so I will tell anyone who wants to know when I get home!! Seriously. don’t forget to ask me. But it was awesome. Let me just say the spirit is real and I learned a lot of amazing things.
Well, everyone, I don’t really know what else to say. I’m loving this. This work is real. I cannot wait to share even more with you all when I get home! Love you!!
Me with the pizza Dad ordered to my apartment on Monday night!
And of course, Elder Whipple and I had to take a picture for Grandma B! Adopted cousins, that’s for sure.

Sister McKann Hanseen
316 Rivermoor Dr.
Marietta, PA
Meet the Mormons, Stake Conference, Cold weather…