Monday, February 1, 2016

Adiós Amigos!

Bueno pues..... aqui estoy en la casa de la misionnnn....I registered for my classes for spring semester at BYU last night but I dont have idea what to do for summer..... so we will see........ when I get home!! Haha.

I've honestly been feeling good about coming home until I woke up this morning. Luckily my companion is here with me because she will be following my footsteps and training at 3 months!! Esoooo!!!!

President gave us permission to wake up late since we were up until 1:30 am. So we woke up at about 8:30am.... and I just felt... chafa. Like on my old terms it's not even late. But I felt like I had slept the day away.

Then we said our companion prayer... and I said it..... and I thought about who we should pray for specifically.... and no one came to mind. Like... I don't have investigators... or members... or .... anyone. And then it hit me.... my mission was over. And I just felt without a purpose. So I finished the prayer and just started bawling. Haha! My poor companion. 

But I had just realized that every day in the mission you wake up with a purpose. It's all about others. And my purpose was to invite them to come to Christ. And now what? THE REAL WORLD DOESN'T HAVE PURPOSE...... Kidding! I know it does. But that's what I was feeling.

I do not regret anything I've done on my mission. Even the mistakes I've made... I've learned from them. NO regrets.. I've enjoyed every freaking second of it. I've learned to know God's plan for me. I've learned to really just love people. Discipline. To be humble. To rely completely on God. I've become a different and better person. I've become converted. And I've seen the gospel in action. I've been a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I know it's time to move on... even if it's hard and I don't want to. The only thing I'm counting on...and it's what is keeping me from going that my mission doesn't end here. I can keep helping people, and preaching the gospel, for Him. 

Signing out for the last time,

Hermana HANSEN

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

18 Months of Memories

Note from parents:
Hermana Hansen returns home in less than a week!  Can't believe how fast the time has passed.  One of our requests to our hija while she was away was to let us experience her mission with her through photos.  We hooked her up with a family one drive account and we were very blessed that most weeks the process worked very well.  It was such a blessing to be able to live a very small part of the mission with her in this way.

We've taken a few of the photos from every week of her mission and compiled them here to try and capture at least a small part of what she experienced.  We are so grateful to all the missionaries serving throughout the world for the sacrifice they make and the joy they bring to others through the message of the Savior.  Missions are hard both physically and emotionally.  We are so grateful to all her companions and mission friends, her friends here at home, President and Sister George as well as all the wonderful people in Chiapas who have helped her over the past 18 months!

Most of all we're grateful for the Savior and His gospel and the joy and hope it brings to all of us.

Music credits for the video:
David Nevue - Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Ludovico Einaudi - I giorni
Jon Schmidt - Hymn of Nature
Plumb - Lord I'm Ready Now

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Last One Fast One

Well this very well may be my last email home.... because next Monday I'll be in the mission home (I'll be heading down on Sunday day early to register for classes at BYU...WHAT REAL WORLD?!) and then flying home on Thursday. 

I can't believe how fast time has passed. It's been hitting me little by little.... earlier today when we were cleaning the house I shouted, "THIS IS THE LAST TIME I WILL BE CLEANING A MEXICAN APARTMENT ON A PDAY SO I'D BETTER ENJOY IT." 

There have been a lot of outbursts like that lately....(all in Spanish of course...I'm just translating it for your benefit..haha). 



CHAFAAAAA. Ni modos. Not sure how I feel yet. Maybe I'll tell you next week.... if I end up writing that is...

Well I have really learned a lot these last few weeks in Teopisca with Hermana Arellano. Every missionary talks about their "trial period" on their mission... maybe a time when they weren't seeing baptisms or other things... but I honestly never felt that on my mission. Yes.... I've had trials. But I was able to see them all with an eternal perspective. I thought that maybe I would just pass my whole mission happily without this lame "trial period" that everyone talks about! 

Well I think God decided to wait until the very end to give me mine... so He could see if I would really stick it out and endure to the end of my mission. Not gonna lie. It's been hard.

Coming to Teopisca I expected to be like BOOM EXPLOSION BAPTIZE AND REACTIVATE EVERYONE. When I came I felt like I knew how to work the system, how to be guided by the Spirit, how to work my butt off... and mas que nada how to baptize. I had baptized every month of my mission until that point. Maybe Hermana Hansen was a little orgulloso okay? 

I honestly thought I knew exactly what to do to be a successful missionary. Until the weeks passed.... and the baptisms didn't come. So we worked harder, we practiced more, prayed more fervently, and fasted more. And there still weren't any baptisms. So we tried new tactics, tried to rely even more on God and the Holy Spirit... and the baptisms that we were sure would happen just kept falling through.

So I thought, "OK...time to be humble. Obviously God is trying to teach me something out of this. I know He will reward us for our efforts. He must just be saving the best for last!"
The best for lasting being.... Hermana M. Poco un poco... all of our investigators have been delaying their baptisms... but Hermana M. has stayed faithful. She has had a real desire and has really repented and made changes in her life. 

FINALLY came the day of her baptism. Saturday. Everything was ready. She passed the baptism interview with flying colors, had been showing faith by reading the Book of Mormon even though she has little education, she had repented.... and her baptismal service was waiting for her an hour away in San Cristobal.
We went to pick her up, and she wasn't there. The door was locked. So we called her, and she screened us. About 3 times. Then she completely blocked us and it went straight to voicemail. Frantically, we start walking towards the graveyard, where apparently she works on a ranch.... trying to find her. On the way, we find some members, who tell us that she's not working at the ranch.

So we called our district leader, who had the idea to call her from his phone. He called, she answered. She said that she would make her way back to her house. So we went back and waited .... but she never came. We tried calling again and she screened us. It was really terrible. I guess the feeling we had was just confusion and deception. We just love her so much. We didn't know where she was. We didn't know what to think. Why was she randomly was hiding from us? We had to call the branch president and cancel the baptism. And then we just had to go and work... go invite people to come to Christ... with all of these unanswered questions haunting us. 

Since it was still early, we went to the apartment for a bit, to do the training for my companion. We watched an episode from the District 2, which cheered us up a bit. Then we sucked it up and went to work. We ended up having a successful day, and started a fast for Hermana M. Later that night, we went to visit her. We found her bundled up in bed (because it was FREEZING). When we walked in, she wouldn't even look at us.

Actually.. she didn't make eye contact with us the whole visit. So we started normally, we sang a hymn with her and said the opening prayer.... and then we asked what happened with her baptism. She lowered her head even more, and was silent. After a few minutes... she silently started crying. So we sang more hymns and tried to ask her what was wrong. But she just sat there, not looking at us, silently crying for a good 30 minutes. 

After a while and a lot of questions, we finally coaxed it out of her that she had talked with her extended family the day before and they had told her 3 things. 
1. We were crazy
2. She was already baptized and didn't need another one 
3. They would never talk to her again if she was baptized in our church.

We are sure they said more things, but that's all she would tell us. So she was confused, and avoided us to avoid being baptized. We asked her if she still had a desire to be baptized and she told us she did. So we shared some things with her and our testimonies. But when we invited her to be baptized the next week she said she would have to think about it. She said she would come to church, but she didn't come. I think this has been the hardest for me because we love her so much and know it's God's will that she be baptized.She has such a desire to "turn a new page." But, people have their agency. And Satan is a hard worker. 

We have put our faith in the Lord. I know that if we rely completely on the Spirit, there is still hope that she can be baptized this week. It's my last week... time to see the miracles here in Teopisca.....

Jacob 5:71 And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come.

As we say in swimming.... LAST ONE FAST ONE. 

Hermana Hansen

Monday, January 18, 2016

God Gives us Trials so the Miracles are so Much Better

I think sometimes God gives us trials so the miracles are just so much better.
Not gonna lie.... these last few weeks have been weird. Like randomly all of our progressing investigators not progressing... what seems like an eternity of no baptisms... flea and foot problems ETC. UNTIL  YESTERDAYYYYY.

So we left early and walked around all of Teopisca, calling and knocking on the doors of every single investigator we could think of... and everyone a) wasn't home b) saw us and hid, or c) lied. So we got to church about 10 minutes early, without any investigators only to find that none of the members have arrived yet either. 
So we sit down feeling a little disheartened. When in walks in Hermana Lupita, who is working towards baptism! Woohoo! And right behind her, walks in some random joven.  He starts saying hi to everyone and sits down like he knows the place. We ask him who he is, and if he had come before. 
He said, "No, you guys talked to my mom last week in the street. Well she didn't want to come but she told me about you guys, and told me about where your church was. So I came looking for it because I like to listen to the word of God." 
Come to find out he actually lives in a little town outside of Teopisca, which is a good 15 minute away in combi and another 30 minutes or so walking. He speaks Tsotsil, Tsental, and Spanish. 
 He said, "I actually have read the Book of Mormon. I find really interesting the stories of Nephi and Jacob. I'm really interested in the book of Ether about the Jaredites. I've been thinking that maybe I'm one of them!" 
We just blinked. 
"I also am interested about Joseph Smith," he said.  "I also want to know what church is true. And I think his prophecies are coming to pass!" 
More blinking. 
I have no idea how in the world he found us. Our casita de oracion is behind a big metal black door thing and it's just a little log cabin without a sign or anything. How he even found us is a miracle. He stayed for the whole meeting, liked it all, accepted a baptism date, and when we talked with him afterwards and prayed with him. 
He said, "Father, I think I have found the true church." 
Hermana Arellano and I were so shocked through the whole thing we were sure it was a trick from our zone leaders or president!! Haha
OK! OK! Back to the montòn de milagros. So during the opening prayer, a young woman prayed that one investigator would come who hadn't arrived yet. Literally the moment that she said his name, he opened the door and walked in. After the prayer, Hermana I. arrived. Being the character that she is, during the talks, she secretly passed around candy to everyone. 
Then, after the sacrament, Hermanas M. and J. and their 3 kids showed up. So they also kept their baptism dates!!! There were just so many tender mercies from the Lord yesterday. 
I love these people so much and I love being a missionary. WORD.
Hermana Hansen