Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Caroling, Family History & a Trip to the Zoo

Hermana Hansen & Juarez went to Tuxtla Zoomat on their last P-day with a few families from their area

Ayyyyy mi HERMOSA FAMILIA. Mucho gusto a verles esta Navidad! Beckham está demasiado grande y no muy me gusta eso pero es la vida eh? Sav está bien guapisima y Austin está bien..... hipster. Que padre.
(ay my beautiful family. It was great to see you on Christmas! Beckham is getting too big and I don't like this but it's life, eh?  Savannah is looking good and Austin is very ....hipster)

I had a great Christmas! We had Christmas dinner with Hermana I. after we skyped! But the best part of Christmas was on the 23rd. We went caroling for a ward missionary activity. We caroled to all of the neighbors of the church, giving them hot chocolate and pan and Christmas DVDs (pretty much bribing them to set up an appointment with us... haha). 

It was so beautiful! Well, not at first.... at first ...everyone was slamming doors in our faces saying they were Catholic or Cualquier (whichever) other religion....or drunk and yelling (and swearing.... I think) at us and I was thinking: "What the heck were we thinking?? This is a distaster!" 

But after a while we changed our tactic and just started saying, "Buenas noches! Tenemos un regalo para usted!" (Good evening! We have a gift for you!) And then we'd start singing and passing them chocolate and it turned out being really cool. 

Who would have thought a year ago that I would be spending this Christmas in the streets of Tuxtla singing Christmas carols? It was awesome. We had a couple of investigators come as well and the spirit was so strong as we sang of Christ's birth. I know they felt it!

So as a mission we are working A LOT with Family History and family search. Before the mission I just thought it was a boring hobby that our grandparents do. But here on the mission I've learned just how important and critical it is for our salvation.

Something cool that I discovered while on Family Search the other day is.....I'm related to John Tanner!

If your not a missionary you might not know who he is...but he played a huge part in the restoration of the gospel with Joseph Smith. All of the missionaries know who he is because there's a whole video on him on one of the DVDs we use with members and investigators a lot.

Since discovering this, we now have a little presentation that we do. We show our investigator/member the video... talk about it... and then BOOM throw in there that I'm his great great great great granddaughter... and I only found this out recently through family search... so they should really get on their 'A' game and do their family history.... so they can find out if they're related to someone cool!

Haha it's pretty fun. But really He is an amazing example of faith... and donated a whole lot of money to the church. And because of this Joseph Smith promised all of his prosperity that they would never again have to beg for food.... no big deal. 

Moral of the story: do your family history!!! 

Love you all!!! 

Hermana Hansen

P-day at the Tuxtla Zoo



Monday, December 22, 2014

Missionary Work is Work...No Rest for the Weary


I wish I understood the weather here in Tuxtla. One day it's freaking cold.... (well... cold for the Mexicans...not for me) and the next day it's hotter than hades. The good news is I'm used to the humidity. I don't know when it happened, but I think it happened a while ago. I guess one day I stopped swimming through the air and started walking.

Temple visit with other Sisters serving in Tuxtla

Sorry for the weird metaphor, I just really miss swimming. But swimming's about the only thing I miss about my pre-mission life.... that and cheap chocolate. Good chocolate here is expensive. But it's fine cuz I'll trade Pozol for a Snickers bar any day.

CHIAPAS HAS MY HEART. I have no idea why. It's not like the city is especially beautiful or anything... I've heard other parts are beautiful, but I wouldn't know. But, I seriously love it so much I CAN'T EVEN STAND IT.

Needless to say, missionary work isn't all peaches and cream. Along with getting used to the humidity, you also get used to the extremely cool fact that you're living in Mexico. 
Missionary work is missionary work, no matter where you are, what language it's in. And sometimes, your golden family doesn't come to church...which means they can't be a part of our goal for 4 baptisms this transfer. 
The chorus of angels in our missionary Christmas program

And sometimes you walk miles to pick up an investigator for church only for her to say, "No puedo hoy, la verdad. Tenga un buen dia...... Dios bendiga." (I can't today, it's true.  Have a good day.  God bless.)

All the missionary trainers

And sometimes you feel like you're completely inadequate to be training a new companion at 3 months. And sometimes nobody will accept a baptism date, when you are sure they are going to.

But it's important to NEVER lose the animo (excitement). It's lo mas importante ( the most important thing). Like Nephi, in Helaman 10:4-5. We need to work UNWEARINGLY. Because the most important work is happening NOW. It's these people's SALVATION on our hands.

My companion is literally the best.... surprise papaya dish for breakfast. 
She knows how to do way more than my cereal and pancakes.

So no importa a mi (it doesn't matter to me) if you don't want to listen to my message or have Jesus Christ in your life, no importa (doesn't matter) if you're Catholic or Jehovah Witness. I'm coming to your house and I'm going to preach His gospel and baptize you and your four kids. Because families can live together FOREVER.

This Christmas time is not a time of rest. It's a time to work harder to bring my brethren to Christ. So we can all party in the Celestial Kingdom. 

Peace out homefries and FELIZ NAVIDAD (Merry Christmas).

Hermana Hansen

(A few pictures from the Tuxtla Gutierrez 
Missionary Christmas Program/Talent Show)

Monday, December 15, 2014

More Christmas Miracles and I'm a Mom!

Welp it's official! I'M A SINGLE MOM. 

Welcome to Central Daughter - The Best Area in the World!

What's weird is that my daughter is older than me and we look nothing alike. 

Nah Chiste...
But, my new companion is Hermana Juarez de Michoacan. She is amazing!! She probably doesn't need any training, because she definitely knows more gospel doctrine than me. But she is such a hard worker and I just love her!

She's also really healthy....she only eats like 2 tortillas during comida (meals) and I average.... let's just say a lot. Which is completely un-mexican of her if you ask me, but to each their own. 

My Spanish has improved so much just in this last week because I'm directing all the lessons...and talking with all of our investigators and members because Hermana Juarez doesn't know any of them. 

But really training has given me a lot of confidence in my Spanish. Four months ago, I literally didn't know anything...and now I'm living in a Mexican....and somehow getting by. My Spanish is nowhere near perfect but I really feel more confident now. 

I have a feeling I'm gonna learn a lot from Hermana Juarez! She is so amazing. I'm so happy that she's my companion! 

I miss Hermana Martinez. But, I'm sure she's doing great things in Tapachula. 

Hermana Martinez says goodbye to Mama C and G

So this week A. got baptized!! It was so amazing! His story is another miracle. Hermana Martinez and I found him through an inactive member....who we also found while contacting in la calle (the street). 

We invited him to church... he came... and lo and behold he came A SECOND TIME without us even inviting him! We didn't invite him because he doesn't live in our area, and we were gonna pass the reference on to the missionaries in his area. But, he said he felt something at church, and he really wanted to change his life for the he came back.

 Last District Selfie

  Final Meal with District Hermanas

We got special permission from our zone leaders to teach him, and he didn't miss a week of church. He lives about 45 minutes away. But, he comes to church at 8 AM and comes to all of our activities... even cleaning the church! 
Seeing the light in eyes grow has been truly amazing. He went from a lost 19 year old kid to an amazing representative of Christ with such a strong testimony. He is so much happier now and his life has been blessed so much because of the church. I'm so happy to be a part of the start of his journey! 

I love you all and hope you continue to share the gift you have... the gospel with everyone around you especially during this holiday season. 

Cuídense mucho,

Hermana Hansen

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cambios and Christmas Miracles

 Christmas came a little early for Hermana Hansen & Martinez

So cambios (changes) are today. And the craziest things are happening. Hermana Martinez is off to Tapachula mañana to be a freaking CAPACITADORA (This is like being a Zone Leader for Hermanas).

So apparently I found my own freaking cousin in Mexico. What? He's from Rupert (Idaho) 
and we are 3rd cousins. HANSENS TAKE TUXTLA.

And me....  well I'm here in Central still... but I'm TRAINING. I just finished my training YESTERDAY...and I'm already freaking training!!! It doesn't make any sense! It's not like there's a shortage of Hermanas here on this mission, and there are a ton of Hermanas who have way more time then me on the mission and haven't ever trained!

How am I supposed to train someone when I hardly speak the language? I mean, yes, I understand most everything but my vocabulary consists of gospel terms and random Chiapaneca phrases and my grammar is horrible.

Hermana A's son...he is seriously the Mexican version of Beckham (Hermana Hansen's little brother)

But tomorrow I receive mi PRIMERA HIJA (my first daughter). I'm super excited and nervous but I know that the Lord needs me here in Central, and he needs me training. He is trusting me with the soul of another missionary and I'm gonna do my best to make Him proud.


And I'm so excited to stay in Central. When I came on my mission, the city is the last place I wanted to be (it's the least beautiful and usually the people have more duro corazones (hard hearts)). But, I have grown to absolutely love everything about it.

Selfie time con Hermanas Martinez & A, and Hermanos A.& G.

I love the people, the accents, the colectivos (buses / taxis), the people selling food, water and hammocks in the streets, the noise, absolutely everything. And I'm beyond excited to be here for Christmas.

Yes, I'm gonna miss Hermana Martinez like crazy. But, we honestly feel satisfied as a companionship with the work we've done here. We really have seen our ward grow and change for the better, and I'm excited to keep working on it.

Foto gracias a M.B. ayudando con el rescue squad :-)
Now for all the craziness that happened this week. Well remember the rat? Turns out there's more to the story. We found it living in our suitcases. We don't have a lot of space for storage and so we both use a suitcase that we use regularly for clothes and other things. Yeah, it was freaking living in there. 

 Rescue squad round two. But, they didn't find it after we sent it running from our screams. 

Needless to say we washed EVERYTHING again in our already clean house, all of our clothes, everything, and by hand. We closed everything up so it couldn't return to its home. Although we didn't sleep for a few nights, we haven't seen any signs of it since. But yeah, we are in the process of looking for a new house. 

So something really sad that happened this week. A lady in our ward died of lung cancer. This was really terrible, because she was only 50. And we pretty much watched her suffer, die and starve to death...because she couldn't eat anything.

It is such a strange experience to see someone up and moving one day...and the next day on their death bed...not able to talk or anything. But, I know she is now in a better place and has been put out of her pain and suffering.

I'm so glad for the knowledge of the plan of salvation. But, unfortunately, sometimes it's easy to forget this plan and let the pain and misery of losing a loved one take over. I saw this happen with the family she left behind as we visited them and helped out with the funeral. All of her children, grown adults, screaming, bawling, unable to move at times, hitting the floor...literally going insane because of the pain of losing their mother.

I've never seen anything like it. It was so sad. Some of them have the knowledge of the plan of salvation, others no. But, sometimes the grief and pain causes someone to forget what they know to be true.

In times like this, I guess we can only try to do what Jesus did. When his friend Lazaras died, he knew he would live again. But, he wept with the family of Lazarus. He wept with them, because he knew that nothing he could say would help their pain. Only after he wept with them did he raise Lazaras. 

I know they will see their mother again, I know it. That's why I'm here.

My last week with my companion was full of even more miracles. Christmas Miracles. As missionaries, we are really working with the El es la Dadiva (He is the gift) video. We have special pass a long cards and everything.

Our goal as a mission this Christmas is to bring 400 souls to Christ to receive this gift. That means 400 baptisms for this transfer. It means 4 baptisms for each companionship...about one family. What's cool is the whole world is doing this, missions all over.

Hermana Martinez and I fasted on Thursday specifically to find a family of 4 ready to receive the gospel, who would attend church five times before the end of the new transfer so they could come unto Christ and be baptized.
We promised that we would contact every single family we saw if He gave us a family by the end of that day. I can honestly say I fasted with all of my faith. I don't think I've ever really done that before...with fasting or prayer...literally not doubting anything. But we did. And a miracle happened.

That night in our English class, Hermana M and her family came. They have been progressing in every other aspect besides going to church for about 2 months now. The problem is her whole family are Jehovah Witnesses..and so she is very skeptical and doesn't want to feel obligated to go.

Hermana M & family...with Hermanas Martinez & Hansen

Before we even asked or anything she said, "My family and I will be attending your church on Sunday." We just blinked at her in shock. This was our miracle family! Our family of four people! The Lord softened her heart enough for the spirit to testify to her that she needed to go to church. It really was a miracle.

What's more, is that the next day the Lord blessed us with another miracle family of four. All of my life I have never received an answer to a prayer or fast so rapidly and so specifically. I know that if we fast and pray with all of our faith, the Lord will answer our prayers. He can do anything. He is amazing! And He is guiding us in this work to save our brothers and sisters.

I'm praying for you all, and I encourage you all to share the "He is the Gift" video through some sort of social media to help your hermanos (brothers and sisters) come to Christ as well. He is the best gift we can give!! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Hansen