Monday, October 27, 2014

Change Day, Fish, Warm Showers and Snail Mail

We're hoping you get to stay with Hermana's transfer day isn't it?  CAMBIOS HOY. Pero no se preocupe (CHANGES TODAY. But don't worry). I'm still with Mama Martinez in Central. Not a surprise because training lasts 12 weeks (2 cambios).
Yeah I know I still have a lot of work to do here in Central. NO WAY I'M LEAVING HERE. And I would be way sad if I didn't have Hermana Martinez with me every step of the way!  She is like my Mexican soul sister.

How is the food?  Are you loving it?  What do you eat every day?  What is your favorite?

So you eat most everything here with your hands or with a tortilla. Like that fish? Yeah. I ate the entire thing with only my hands. Sucked the meat off the bones and all. Not my favorite. Actually, I really hate eating fish whole. It doesn't taste too bad. It's so freaking creepy, and really hard to eat. But it's like a delicacy for some people here so they just love to feed it to us. But really that's the only thing here that I don't like.

I can eat everything here with hardly any problems. Every single other foreigner... even sometimes Mexicans from different states...get really sick from the food at the beginning. BUT NOT ME.

It's because I'm Chiapaneca. 

The only thing that's difficult is the milk along with other things like mole are REALLY HEAVY and difficult for me to eat a lot of. But, all the food here is usually really good, always served with tortillas, and there's always a ton of it.

The drinks here are so different but sooo good. A lot of Americans dont like them, but I love them! Pozol is the best. It's like this amazing chocolate drink with corn and stuff. Like all the drinks have corn or rice or something in them but it's SO GOOD. And really only in Chiapas. It's a cool cultural thing.

The kids have been studying a little bit from "Preach My Gospel" in Sunday School. How often do you use "Preach My Gospel"?  That's so cool that you guys learn out of "Preach My Gospel". It's great! You have no idea how much we use it here on the mission. Seriously, I study it literally every day! It's amazeballs.   

Do you get to take warm showers? Of course we don't have warm water!! But, seriously, a cold shower is the only way to cool down here. So it's usually not too bad. Although lately, because of the rain, it's been cold (well not for me but for everyone else). But it's too cold to shower in cold water. So we've been heating up water in the tiny microwave and tiny stove thing we have (about 30 min per person)...and dumping water over our heads in the shower so we don't freeze to death.

How often do you get letters/packages from the mission home?  I got all of your letters on Wednesday! Looks like we get letters here every 2 or 3 weeks. THANK YOU! And Hermana Martinez was so happy for her letter! She never gets letters and thought it was the cutest thing ever!!  (Hermana Hansen's little brother Beckham sent Hermana Martinez a letter)

Wanna be a member of Hermana Hansen's snail-mail fan club? The easiest (and cheapest) way to write her for free is via the pouch at Dear

Just click on "Write a Letter" and select "Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez" from the drop down box.  Click on the "Write a Missionary" button and then fill in your information and Hermana Jordyn Hansen as the recipient.

Enter your letter in the space provided and click "Send Letter" - it's that easy.

Pouch letters are sent directly to church HQ where they are sent in bulk to the various missions once a week.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Nothing is a Coincidence

Mexico gets better and better every week! 


Los Chistosos

**The other day we made a contact. As we walked away, the guy we were talking to yelled, "Estoy soltero!" (I'm single.) Yeah. Not sure how interested he actually is in the gospel.

**There have been two earthquakes since I've been here. The first one was short, yet powerful, and apparently... somehow I didn't feel it. We were eating and everyone started freaking out. I didn't understand what was happening, because it was like my second week here and still didn't understand anything. So, I just continued eating my chicken. Suddenly everyone was looking at me and started laughing because I was just chillin' so calmly. Poor gringa.

The other earthquake was this week. We were laying in our beds trying to sleep when it happened. It felt like I was in a water bed. My bed moved like 6 inches. It was freaking awesome.

Hermana Hansen's trademark peace-sign-duck-face.

**I hit a car. No, the car did not hit me. I hit a car. And now have a gross bruise and cut on my leg that will probably scar.

**When I was getting out of the combi, I totally fell on my face. All the people in the combi (about 15) just stared at me. So I got up, gave them a peace sign duck face, and went on my way as Hermana Martinez stood in shock.

Tuxtla Gutierrez LDS Temple

So we had the opportunity to go to the temple this week!!! YES. THE TEMPLE. It was so freaking awesome. And all in Spanish!! Which was amazing. The gospel is the same no matter where you are... in Mexico or Utah. It's so awesome.
This week my testimony has grown even more about how the Lord has a plan, he prepares his people, and everything was pre-designed before this life. We found out this week that my first convert's (Hermana I.'s) dad, who lives in California for work, has accepted to listen to the missionaries. And guess who's teaching him? My friend from high school, Logan Passey, and his Mexican companion! QUE EN EL MUNDO! (what in the world!)
Hermana I.'s Baptism Day
Nothing is a coincidence.  I've also seen how God prepares his I've seen people so readily accept the gospel and want to change. It's amazing. 

Does this mean missionary work is easy? We walk and walk for hours and hours and talk with countless people with no success some days. Lessons fall through... ya. But after a trial of our faith.. there are always milagros (miracles)

Por ejemplo..(for example)...This week we didn't have much success. But at the end of the week, we contacted a reference, a young man, who is 18 years old. He's had all of the discussions before, but moved before he could be baptised. Well now he's back for school, and wants to change again and be baptised. He has such an amazing spirit! I can truly see the light of Christ in him.

We also found another family who's hearts are prepared to teach, and a muchacha who came to church ON HER OWN. Which never happens. The Lord really does prepare his people. And I love the people here so much.

It's a lot of work, every day is a challenge. Most wards have 4 missionaries and ours only has 2... us. So our area is twice the size of every other missionaries area. So yeah... a lot of walking. But on the plus side my calves have never looked better! They are perfect, besides the bug bites!

 (In the picture above) See that tiny little white skyscraper right in the middle in the distance? That's the end of our area. There is even more behind me. It's insane. MUCHO CAMINAR. (much walking)

What do you love most about your companion?

Freak she is awesome. Everyday I realize more and more that she is the Mexican version of me... except she can belly dance. Although if I were Mexican I'd probably know how to belly dance tambien (also). So yeah.

But she is so patient with my terrible Spanish and helps me so much. I learn so much from her everyday!

I also help her with English. She can understand me usually when I talk English to her. And she knows a bunch of English phrases now so it's hilarious when she talks English to me in her cute little Mexican accent. She serves me all the time and honestly is just amazing. She's like mi mama!!

Anything you're really glad you packed and brought with you now that you've had a month in the country?

Hermana Hansen and Martinez's study area.
Actually I wish I would have packed less. I have way too much crap. And I wish I wouldn't have bought anything nice or expensive. I don't wear it anyways because I don't want to stand out more and once you see how you wash it you realize it's gonna be ruined in a month anyways.

SO yeah, advice for anyone going to any place like Mexico?  Pack only what it says on the list.  Seriously.  You'll probably want to buy stuff here anyways.  But bring more garments then listed.  You can never have too many garments.

I love you all!! 
Hermana Hansen

Monday, October 13, 2014

Birthdays, Agua Verde and Chistosos

Happy Birthday Austin y Sav!!! 

Hermana Hansen, her companion and a friend sing Happy Birthday

I cannot believe you guys are 16. You can drive.... date..... DO IT ALL. But seriously love every minute of it. Don't be afraid to ask boys or girls to dances and go to every dance you can. Just go with your friends! Seriously they are so fun. And go to all the football games and soccer games. Be involved. You will have way more fun that way. 

 I am so grateful for you, Austin and Savannah. Being on a mission has really helped me realize what I need to change to be a better big sister, and I want you to know I am ALL IN. I love you guys so much.

You are such great examples to me. You are both so talented and so hilarious and muy guapos. Don't be afraid to stand out, always work your hardest and give your all to every single thing you do. Read your scriptures and pray all the time
Seriously, it's essential in high school.

Hermana's celebrating a birthday party for a little boy in Tuxtla

 OK sorry for the missionary rant. I promise I'm not that weird.... I still say things like freak...and I still sneak peaks at the TV every once in a while for Mexican soccer games....... 

Hermana I. has two cats that look just like Elvis (Sav's cat at home)

But, I love you guys so much. Seriously! Thanks for all the emails. I hope you have the best birthday ever. EVER. EN EL MUNDO.

Love you more than you can imagine! 


We had a Birthday Party for Austin and Savannah - Chido (cool), no?

Los Chistosos  (funny things)

*Something important I forgot about our first baptism last week.... the water was green. No se porque (I don't know why). That's right.... AGUA VERDE.
Hermanas Martinez & Hansen with Hermana I. on her baptism day.

*The word for scared is miedo. This is very close to an extremely bad word in Mexico. Apparently I've been saying the bad word for like... all this time and my companion didn't notice...until I said it in front of some elders...and the elders had to correct me. AY.

Hungry Elders picking fruit from a tree near the church.

*Today I was contacting a young man on the bus. He asked me to take him back to America, invited me to a party, and then offered me some weed (which he pulled out of his bag to try to give to me). Needless to say Hermana Martinez (mi mama) was horrified. 

 In the combi (colectivo) alone... a rare occasion because people 
aren't surrounding you like pillows.

*Apparently Hermano H. (the ward mission leader and Mama C's son), walked past our apartment one night, and could like see into our windows or something. So, Mama C. (the lady who makes the huge quesadillas) freaked out for her poor missionaries, and gave us curtains to hang over our windows. It was hilarious. 

Shout out to Mama C. for looking out for our Hermana!

Chiapas rocks. Spanish is hard. But I understand the city accent now... it's the Tonala y Honduras accents that throw me off.

Hermana I. makes THE BEST food!

(The mission is the best!

Hermana Hansen

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Lord's First Baptism During My Service!

Woohoo!!! First baptism!! Hermana I. has helped me feel so at home here. It's been a long process to help her accept the gospel (mostly the doing of Hermana Martinez and her missionary comp before me).  But watching her change of heart has been amazing.  I can testify that baptism really does change people.

 I love this!! (By the way, after this picture...I put my hair back up.. because the amount of cat calls I get triples when my hair is down. Plus, it's freaking hot.)
What is your typical daily schedule?

6:30am - wake up, exercise
7:00 -  get ready, eat 
8:00 -  personal study
9:00 -  comp study
10:00 -   language study
11:00 -   training
Noon - 2:00 pm - proselyte
2-3:00 -  eat with member
3-9:00 or 9:30 -  proselyte 
9:30 -10ish - plan
10ish - eat
10:30pm - sleep

What was your first Sunday in Tuxtla like?  How many members attend church?

About 60 members attend church....but nobody is on time.  We always are the first ones there.   The first Sunday only one new investigator came to church and 3 older ones.  But, the next Sunday we had 7 investigators at church!!   Also, I gave a talk.... in Spanish.... haha....about repentance!   It was scary but a ton of members came up to me and said my Spanish was very clear and very good.  But probably only because Hermana Martinez edited it for me..... hahahaha.   But yeah it was good!  We also teach a gospel doctrine class which is fun.

Have you had to use your Pet Parade Dog Repeller to fend off any stray dogs?
I haven't been carrying it with me but I probably should because the other day we had two perros (dogs) follow us for awhile... but yeah there are literally hundreds of dogs in the calle (street) but they are friendly unless you have food.  It's actually really sad.... Sav would cry (Hermana Hansen's sister) - lol.    

How are you feeling physically (adjusting to the food, headaches, shin splints, etc)?
Physically adjusting to the food I've been fine. Guess it was all that sushi, Indian and Thai food during college ha ha (thanks Tiff, Alicia and Andy!)  But once I drank some bad water (it was supposedly filtered... but no way) and yeah I was super sick for a week.  But, I was still able to work so that was good.  

I get headaches a lot I think because of the heat...but I drink a lot of water from a creepy filter that works fabulously that the MTC gave me so that's rad.  

I've only had to stay in one day and it's because when I woke up I couldn't move the upper left half of my body. No joke. It was all tense. I was able to finally move my arm but not my neck or head. It was just all tense. I think it's a combination from the stress from my bag and my tendonitis (Jordyn battled shoulder tendonitis during her swimming days).  So we called the doctor and my comp now has to give me massages with this creepy gel every night! hahahahaha.   

But yeah it was kind of horrible because I couldn't move -  but on the bright side I got to watch 17 miracles (and see Savanna Lewis die... which I sobbed during) and study the scriptures all day.  (Savanna is our neighbor who played a character in the movie)   My neck still hurts and I don't have full range of motion. But, I know what to do for it because of all my tendonitis probs and PT training so it's all good. But yeah, I'm glad my bag turns into a backpack!  

Did you get to watch General Conference? 

Yeah conference was fab! I got to watch the first session in Spanish....but didn't understand hardly anything. But, I got to watch the rest with English subtitles.