Monday, November 24, 2014

Nothing Prepares You for the Mission

Celebrating the Mockingjay premiere. Obviously M. saw it for me so I saw it vicariously through her. YES I'M DYING.

I'll start out by sharing the progress of Hermana Martinez and her English.

As she was attempting to share with me what she learned in her personal study (in English) she said, "we need very much to BREAKFAST and pray for our investigators." 

I said, "really.... breakfast? desayuno?" Hermana Martinez replied, "OH NO!!! FAST! FAST! FAST!!!" hahahaha 

Now for my Spanish progress. I said that we needed to check with our "basuras" to see if they paid for the water this month. Basura = trash. I meant to say Vecina = neighbor. Yikes. 

I'm also at the point where I can't really remember a lot of words in English. Like it's difficult to speak English but I can't speak Spanish either. So I'm left languageless. 

The Stake President (local church leader) had a Christmas Party for us in his house.  So awesome.

You asked me what the most difficult thing is about my mission. I haven't responded to this because I don't know how to answer!! Haha my mission is the most difficult thing I've ever done but also the most amazing thing I've ever done. I can honestly say I enjoy every day.
Hermanas posing with Hermano A, secretary to the bishop in the local ward.

But why is it so difficult as well? I think it's because for a year and a half, we literally represent Jesus Christ. As a part of this, we try to act as he would, experience what He did.

This means trying to experience a bit of His atonement, every day. When our investigator isn't progressing, we feel it. 

When they are struggling with an addiction, we feel it. When they are happy, we are happy, when they are struggling or in pain, we feel it as well. If we don't, we aren't doing our job. It's because of the love we have for this people.

As we grow closer to Christ we are able to love more than we thought ever possible. And nothing prepares you for that. Not the MTC.... nothing. 

Yesterday we were visiting an inactivo (less active) who is literally on her death bed, dying of lung cancer.  Hermana Martinez said, "They didn't teach me this in the MTC! Why didn't they prepare me for this?" haha, it's so true. 

Nothing prepares you for the mission

But it's so great. Because every single day, as we are helping these people, I feel an indescribable joy that I've never felt before. Yes it's hard physically, mentally, and spiritually. But seriously, the salvation of these souls bring the absolute greatest joy. It's amazing. Alma 36:24.

I absolutely love serving these people, I love representing Christ, and I love being a missionary. 

I love walking miles in the heat and humidity, I love the people, the language, and I love bringing these amazing precious souls to Christ.


Con Amor,

Hermana Hansen

Monday, November 17, 2014

But How Many Eyes Does She Have?

I freaking love Chiapas!

Mi Zinacantán amiga y yo (There are a bunch of different indigenous people here that live in the mountains, and come to the city to sell all of their stuff. They speak different dialects (she speaks Sotsil). This is the traditional clothing (casi $180)

OK, now to explain the title. 
We found an absolutely magical place in our area that we have never seen before. 

Que miedo (how scary)

We are the only missionaries in our incredibly large area. As it turns out, there are more houses above Colonial Popular that aren't really shown on the map. It's absolutely MAGICAL. It's seriously like a jungle.


Hermana Martinez says its a lot like Chenalhó (her area the mountains...where the indigenous live.) They speak Sotsil, so yeah, she knows a little of an ancient Mayan dialect. NBD. Sadly, they don't send Americans there because there's a group of indigenous people that like to burn Americans alive. (No, I'm not joking. So you know....better not). But seriously it's nothing like the rest of our area.... city.

We found an absolutely magical part of our area. THIS IS NOT THE CITY.

So one of the little girls there... probably like 3 years old... walks up to us and just stares at me. The conversation went like this:

Niña: Why is her hair like that?
Hermana M: Because she's not from here
Me: Yep! I'm American!
Niña: Oh. But why is her skin like that?
Hermana M: It's different, huh? 
Niña: Yep. And why does she talk weird?
(We both try to contain our laughter to no avail)
Me: Because I speak English
Niña (looking shocked and confused, whispers to my companion): But how many eyes does she have?
Hermana M: Only 2! Like you!
Niña: Not 5?
Me laughing: No! Only two! Where do you see my other 3 eyes?
Niña: Que rara (how strange). Will she let me touch her hair?
(She then proceeded to stroke my hair). 

It was probably the funniest experience of my entire life. 

I had my first round of interviews with President George this week!!!

President & Sister George with Hermana Hansen on day of arrival at temple
Because we live in the city we got to go to the mission house.... which was the best because Mama George fed us chili and ice cream. 

President George seriously is so sweet... and the best ever. The first thing he says to me when I walk in is, "Hermana Hansen. You just look so beautiful and that blouse. Just so beautiful. It just brings out your skin. Wow. You remind me of my daughter. How beautiful!" Haha! 

Then he went on to say how much he loves all of the missionaries and hopes that we all feel at home here. He is the sweetest soul ever!! 

Hermana Hansen & Martinez on the pier in front of the Rio Grijalva

Clock tower at Chiapa de Corzo
 My Spanish is getting better! I can understand just about everything now (woohoo gift of tongues). But, speaking is still suuuuper difficult...although a lot better.

I gave a talk in church yesterday with only a post it note of scriptures I was gonna use and talked for like 15 or 20 minutes without notes! My grammar is still horrendos. But a bunch of the members said they could understand me! So that's good!

I'm getting to the point where I forget words in English, but don't know how to say it good in Spanish. So, I guess I'm just languageless.

 Hermanas Martinez & Hansen teaching Chiapan children the proper way to take a selfie.

But seriously I love Spanish. Love Mexico. Love Chiapas.....Love everything. I hope I can stay in central for at least one more transfer because we have quite a few people who are hoping to get baptised in December and I would love to see that.  

 This cross is bigger than the Jesus in Rio, Brazil. So you know, that's pretty legit.


Hermana Hansen

P-Day at Chiapa de Corzo

Hermana Hansen & Martinez recently spent part of their P-Day in Chiapa de Corzo, a historic town east of Tuxtla Gutierrez.  Here are a few photos from their time in the area. 

La Pila Fountain

the most epic photo of all time

Woodwork from Museo de la Laca

The Chiapa Pochota Tree

Santo Domingo Church