Sunday, August 17, 2014


This came from the mouth of one of the dear old women that we work with every Thursday at Greenspring (the assisted living home we volunteer at). Her name is Dot and she's the fastest ceramics-painter of them all! But as I went to go check on her work, she asked me to relieve the itch on her neck ("a little higher, a little lower... yep, right there.") Though it may have looked strange to others, I was happy to do it. These ladies are wonderful, and I feel honored to serve them!

This week showed some miracles - not a surprise! We were able to expand our teaching pool by one great soul. His name is Jamal and the sister missionaries taught him for a couple months a year ago, until he dropped them due to the presence of negative influences in his life. But, a girl in our Ward brought him up recently and said we should go try him, so we did! And we discovered that he's willing to give it another try. We had a lesson with him last week on prayer and how the Spirit works within us. One question that he posed was, "Why do all religions center themselves on a book? Like the Bible with Christianity and the Koran with Islam, and now the Book of Mormon with Mormonism?" Very good question! One that I don't think I've had asked to me before. We are seeing him again tonight to answer that question more in-depth using the introduction to the Book of Mormon, specifically the last two paragraphs. I invite you all to read those and see WHY we truly need the Book of Mormon :)


I can't remember if I mentioned this last week, I think I may have. Our friend Bre, who we took to the Temple Visitor's Center in May before she went home for summer, contacted us randomly a couple of weeks ago. She was in need of spiritual guidance after getting in a huge debacle with her parents and sister. We met with her the morning after we received her text explaining what had happened, and she expressed her desire to return to full activity in the Church. Bre knew that the Spirit was what was helping her stay calm through this storm, and she wanted that to be there ALWAYS - knowing it would come through prayer, scripture reading, and coming to church. To give her an added measure of guidance, we invited her to seek a priesthood blessing from some men in the church and she was able to receive that this week. We asked her how she felt after and she said, "Happy, so happy. It was exactly what I needed." And yesterday, she met with Bishop of our Ward for the first time since she first met with the Braddock Ward sisters a year ago! Bre randomly opened to Alma 34:40-41 yesterday morning, when she was feeling down:


40 And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile against those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;


41 But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.


I love when the scriptures help us with exactly what we need! This scripture even reminds me of a struggle we had with a sister companionship that's under our stewardship. The senior companion goes home in about two months, but she's been suffering with feelings of inadequacy and weakness. It's even causing her to become physically ill. We sat down with them later last week and basically plead with them both to pray for patience! I know that we MUST be patient with the Lord and with ourselves and with others if we EVER expect to find happiness or feel "enough". If it's something we truly want/need, we have to start on our knees.

Thank you all for your love and prayers! My mission has truly been the ride of a lifetime and I can't wait to learn what God would have me learn in these last few weeks.

Sister Hansen

Washington Nationals Baseball Game

NATIONALS! Sigh, I like the sound of "Giants" so much better than "Nationals". Thank heavens I'm from San Francisco :)
We went to the Day to Serve Baseball Game this weekend as a mission. Over 500 missionaries were in attendance from the DC North and South missions. It was a bit muggy and overcast, but the game was a BLAST (see what I did there?). Nationals won 11-0 so that made it even better. Our mission president said we were the "good luck charm" since they had lost the night before. I'll take it ;) We talked to some people on the train on the way to the game. One man said he was a doctor from Dallas and he had a patient who wrote "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission". What?! Crazy. We gave them cards and parted ways. It awesome to see how bold some of our missionaries were getting as they placed Book of Mormons and got outside their comfort zones. A cool thing too: we decided collectively as a mission to not wear baseball hats at the game this year (we didn't wear them last year either). We felt that they didn't set us apart as the missionaries we are, so we didn't want to wear them. Well, we knew that DC North would be wearing them (as they did last year). It was pretty neat to see how different we looked :) I like standing out (especially as His representative), and it's even sweeter as a missionary!
We received three referrals this week! CRAZY. These are the first referrals we've been given since I've been in the Braddock Ward. One of them was from Bishop, the other two were from a member in the Sudley Spanish Branch in Centreville that we randomly met on the street. So no... none from our members, but still celebrate-worthy :) We contacted all three, but are waiting to hear back. Pray that Lanier, Maribel, and Bella will be ready and waiting to learn more about the restored gospel!
Due to lack of time today, I will leave with a spiritual thought. Our gospel principles lesson was on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. And something I read in the manual really struck me: "Today people who are not members of the Church learn by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. But that initial testimony leaves them if they do NOT receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." I don't think I had ever thought about this before! I think about all those sad stories of "golden" people who receive witnesses that these things are true, but then don't end up making that step to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. What's even more sad is that the testimony they had will ultimately leave if the sealing power of the Holy Ghost isn't in effect. It makes me appreciate baptism and the Holy Ghost that much more now! And helps me have a stronger desire to invite ALL to make and keep those covenants. It's such a blessing to be a member of Christ's church - there is NO greater happiness.
Love you all!
Sister Hansen 

Sunday, August 3, 2014


Dearest Family and Friends,

We had transfers this week. It was an emotional one! Some of my closest missionary buds traveled home this past week, Sister Hills included. But I'm excited to see what the future holds for all of them. With that, you're probably wondering where I'm spending MY final transfer. Well... it can only be here in good ol' Braddock YSA! Yes, you heard me right. I will be in Braddock for a total of four transfers - that's approximately SIX MONTHS. Haven't spent that much time in one area since my first, which was in Great Falls.

But WAIT, it gets better. Guess who my companion is?SISTER KARTCHNER. Can you believe it? Three transfers together! That RARELY happens in our mission, so we feel privileged :) I'm so grateful for her - she helps me be a more bold and daring missionary! Not to mention she puts up with my ridiculous antics, so that's a blessing. I truly love her and am stoked to see what this transfer has in store!

This week was kind of crazy (with transfers and all), but so good! A fun little miracle: we had dinner at home on Thursday night and as we prayed before going out to work, I had the thought of checking on that 17 year old girl we met in our complex a few months back. We had lost contact with her, but hadn't tried her since school got out. So I told Sister K my thought and we headed over. As we approach her door, I look down at my shirt to see my name tag missing! SUCH a rookie mistake (seriously haven't done that since my second month in the mission maybe?)! I realized that I had switched my shirt at home and forgot to put the tag back on. Sheesh. Because Sister K has long, flowing hair that often covers her tag, she said I could borrow her name tag real quick. We knocked on Paige's door and waited. And kept waiting. I told her, "Hey, maybe I had the thought to check on Paige so Heavenly Father would let me go back home and get my name tag without us being too far away!" Then all of a sudden, the door swings open and it's Paige! She lets us in and we have a good lesson with her. MIRACLE. The Spirit whispereth, everyone. So make sure you're listening :)

Sadly, Paige is moving to North Carolina next week, but we pray that we've made an impression in the time we've spent with her. We hope to get her information so that missionaries can meet her down there! Not only did we teach her, but the next day, we taught a man on the street who was 50 years old - we just can't seem to find investigators for our age range! But they'll come, I know they will.

Actually, that brings me to a cool experience we had last Monday night. We felt like we were blowing through our plans and really didn't know where God wanted us to be, so we prayed and Sister K said, "Well, we could go check on that former investigator in the complex that's not far from here?" Neither one of us was that excited to go because we had JUST checked on them maybe a week before and no one was home. But we decided to try it again anyways. As we were walking toward the townhouse, we met a YSA-aged man heading in a similar direction. His name was Waqar and he's originally Muslim but very open to all religion. We started talking about the Book of Mormon with him and he goes, "If this is the word of God, how come I've never heard of this book before?" Valid question. We invited him to read and pray about it to know if it's true. You could tell that Waqar was searching for truth!

Eventually, his roommate came home to find us all sitting on the porch talking and he jumped RIGHT into the conversation - well, he kind of took over the conversation. But that's okay! Because it was one of those experiences where your own testimony grows due to someone's trying to dispute it. His roommate told us that there can't be a modern prophet because man is not in physical crisis. He talked about how Moses was sent to the children of Israel because they were in physical bondage and needed help. He then said that we are "comfortable" these days and don't need that kind of assistance. I immediately answered with, "Yes, but we’re in a SPIRITUAL crisis! Would a loving God leave us alone in a time where people put other things before Him? No! So we need a prophet on the Earth to help guide us back to what’s most important.” It felt empowering to bear testimony, as it has felt my entire mission. But this was one of those moments that I’ll never forget. My faith in modern prophets increased greatly due to his argument, and I couldn’t be more grateful!
Thank you all for your love and prayers. They mean the world. Hope this week is a wonderful one for you!
Sister Hansen


Hello all!

This week was full of little miracles. Though we're struggling to find more people to teach, it's amazing how we can still feel that the week was productive and successful. After meeting with our bishop last week, I felt reassured. As I may have told you before, he is having us really involve in the "rescue effort" for our Ward. Our job is to share the message chosen by Bishop with the members, then ask them who in the Ward could use a visit from us WITH them - that way there's that immediate fellowship. Bishop promised us that as we follow this particular counsel of his, we would be blessed with more people to teach. I need to trust in that! He is our key-holder and knows what will bring us more success.

Here are a few of the miracles members shared with us this week as we shared Bishop's message with them:
1. Alex: Our friend Alex called us early one morning to inform us that she went to a friend's birthday dinner the night before. The friend may have been a little tipsy, but before Alex left, the friend gave her a hug and whispered in her ear, "Wait, can you please pray with me?" Alex was confused, but told her yes. So they went to another room and Alex gave a prayer for her. When they were finished, the friend was crying and Alex said, "Hey, you can't cry on your birthday!" Her friend said that she wanted to improve her relationship with God and asked Alex if she could come to church with her soon. So Alex told us she'll be at church in two weeks - SWEET!
 2. Kim: Kim let us know about a childhood friend from the nearby Burke Ward who had recently gone less-active. We followed up last week to see if she had made contact and she hadn't. But she did within a few days and told us what happened! She texted this friend, and before she could even ask her to come to church with her, the friend said, "You're going to the young single adult ward, right? I've been thinking about coming there. What time does it start?" Kim was so shocked and excited. We are too! She should be at church within a couple weeks too!

 3. Dana: Dana is an engaged member of our ward, but is really taking all of her callings seriously before leaving. Especially visiting teaching! She's been tracking down her less-active teach-ees and found out that one had not been contacted in a while. In fact, she had moved from the address in the directory, so no one knew where she went. Now, Dana will go visit her in Sterling (out of our area) and help her attend the other singles branch in that area! YAY.

 4. Dani: We have never sat down with Dani, but found her name on a teaching record for a former investigator. We texted her to see if she had talked to him at all in the last year. She said she hadn't but that she would reach out to him to see if he'd want to come to church. He said YES! Though he doesn't want to meet with missionaries again just yet, he's willing to enter the chapel doors :) He too should be at church within weeks.
As you can see miracles!
A couple final miracles:
We had a walk-in at church yesterday. His name is Charles and he looks like Wolverine (serious chops!). He was looking for a young adult congregation and found the Hermanas at our complex, who pointed him in the right direction. He was there 15 minutes early, so we sat down with him in a room and explained a bit more about what we believe. He was impressed! Charles was looking for more prayer and fellowship in his life. I immediately thought of and pulled open Moroni 6:4 about what makes up the church of Christ. He really enjoyed that. We gave him a copy and proceeded to go into Sacrament meeting. As most YSA wards go, some of our speakers went on bad tangents without bearing testimony, so Charles wasn't too impressed with the actual service (sad). But we did get his contact info, so we'll follow up on his reading of the Book of Mormon soon!

Speaking of the Book of Mormon, we contacted a lady last night named Ms. B (hahaha the Baker's kitty!). She was a sweet heart. She's preparing for back surgery, so she's been reading the Bible for comfort. We gave her a Book of Mormon and as she flipped through it's pages, GUESS where she landed? Alma 32:21 - Faith is not a perfect knowledge of things... Sister Kartchner and I looked at each other in AWE. Pure shock. God is good! After she read that little bit, she said "I like what I see! Give me a couple weeks to read it." Amazing!
Thanks for all the love and prayers - I have the best support system in the world! Love you all!
Sister Hansen

"Ohhhh say can you SEE..."‏

I just love that song. We sang it twice this week and it reminds me of baseball games :) I LOVE AMERICA!
This week was a wonderful one. We worked hard and saw results. First, we went on an exchange with the Fairfax sisters. I went to the Fairfax area with my good, ol' friend Sister Gray (the sister in that polaroid picture I sent a few weeks back). She's been out since December and we were roommates for a transfer when I was in the Potomac Ward. Here's a miracle from that day:

We went to a less-active family's house that night - this family is infamous for their mild profanity and lack of desire to keep commitments. However, they ALL have testimonies, so the missionaries keep working with them. Sadly, the missionaries in the past have been sucked into this trap of only chatting with the family and playing games with them - sometimes for three hours! When Sister Gray got into the area, she knew that that wasn't right and has been trying to change it ever since. But she gets scared - and it can be scary! But, I was SO proud of her that night. We talked with them for a bit, then Sister Gray said, "Stone family, you need to know that as missionaries, it is not our job to just hang out with you each week. We can stay for no more than an hour and you have to let us devote at least five to ten minutes to sharing a message and extending a challenge to you. Deal?" They all just looked at her in shock. She did so well! We shared a great message about being "spiritually fed" and they all agreed to read 3 minutes or verses of the Book of Mormon each day. I pray that that family will continue to let the Sisters teach them, but if not, I know that Sister Gray did her best in stating our purpose!
This week, Sister Kartchner and I had another BIG miracle happen. We had a dinner with a member out in Nokesville, VA (middle of nowhere - it's where I took my "Book of Mormon" picture on facebook), so we decided to check on a referral that lives out there as well. An elder in our district had met this cute, YSA-aged girl at BJ's - she was their waitress! They talked with her for a little bit, and eventually got her information. Months later, they remembered to give it to us. So we decided to try her house! Well, we drive up to a neighborhood of the BIGGEST mansions I've seen in my entire mission. YES, even bigger than in Great Falls or McLean. I don't think it helped that each of these houses were on 10+ acres of land. Welp, this girl's house was one of them. We parked outside of the driveway and walked ALL the way down it to get to her door... such a scary, long walk!
The dad opened the door and seemed a little suspicious, but let us in. He called down to his daughter (she was in the basement) and she came dashing up to greet us. She said immediately, "I would love to talk to you about your church!" WHAT?! This doesn't happen very often! But I'm grateful when it does :) We had a good lesson with her - she asked lots of questions and expressed sincere interest. Meanwhile, her father was pacing in the background (just outside of the living room where we were), waiting for us to be done and listening the entire time. He came in towards the end and we asked if we could offer a prayer. He said, "As long as it's in the name of Jesus." We assured him that it would be. I offered what I thought was a simple, humble prayer. We scheduled an appointment to meet with her at church because she said she wanted to come!
As we got up to leave, I talked with the dad while Sister Kartchner talked with the girl. I tried to soften his heart as much as I could! Found out that he has a brother who lives in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA that is a MEMBER OF THE CHURCH! What in the world? We had no idea. Maybe this is why he is bitter? But what's crazier is that an elder serving in our YSA ward is from that tiny Orange County town and knows that brother. Too much! Sad to say, as soon as we left, the father talked her out of meeting with us and she is no longer our investigator :( But I KNOW that when she moves out and gets on her own feet, this girl will be led to the gospel again. Her heart was pure and she was ready. I pray that she'll find her way or that others will find her.
I'm so grateful for this gospel! It brings me more happiness and peace than I can comprehend. It doesn't mean I don't have trials, but I know EXACTLY how to get through them. I don't have to "explore my options" or ever have to wonder where relief is found. What a blessing! I owe my family thanks for being great examples of true positivity and having that eternal perspective :)
-Sister Hansen


Hello all!
This week was great! We had a miracle happen - a new investigator! Who is actually in our age range! We street contacted her roommate a few weeks back and had a great experience. The roommate seemed interested and we set up a time to come back. She canceled our returned appointment due to busyness, but we decided to stop by the next time we were in Manassas. When we knocked on the door, Christy (our new investigator) came out! Although her roommate was home, Christy seemed more generally interested. We talked for a bit and gave her the pamphlet. She said "Yeah, we can possibly get some lunch next week after I read this and we can talk about it!" OKAY!
Eventually, we set a lunch date for this past Wednesday and it went so well. Probably one of the most prepared people I've ever met in my entire mission! Even having a lesson at Chik-Fil-A, it was such a spirit-filled lesson. She said that she was coming with questions, so we asked what her questions were. Christy said that she wanted us to explain Joseph Smith a little more... so we did! And it turned into a true understanding of why we needed a Restoration. Of course, she wants to pray about all of this, but she's really excited to read the Book of Mormon. Sadly, she'll be leaving for Army Training in CA for three weeks, but she's taking her Book of Mormon! We plan to stop by tonight to double-check on her before she takes off :)
We had the amazing coincidence (not really a coincidence of course) of talking with three atheists within a matter of DAYS. And each one was incredibly kind and willing to listen. The first was Alaina, she was a 21-year old girl we stopped in a stair well while checking on someone else. She's the cutest! We talked for a while about how she doesn't feel anything when she tries praying... so she gave up. We testified of God being our Heavenly Father and that He WANTS to hear from us, but that we have to be patient for a response. Afterwards, she said "You two are the best ones (missionaries or Jehovah's Witnesses, I'm guessing) I've met! Usually I get people barking at me or shoving stuff down my throat. But you really helped me think!" She didn't necessarily want us to come back, but I know the Spirit touched her heart.
Another Atheist we met was actually while I was on an exchange with another sister. We met him outside as he was letting his two chubby cats out to play. He worked at ExxonMobil, so I brought up the name of a Great Falls member that works there. He didn't know him, but it got him to relax a bit. He had NEVER talked with missionaries (though this was a complex that you KNEW missionaries had been there before), but he had worked with members. He had good feelings about them. But he explained that his atheism came from the amount of contention and corruption that comes from organized religion. The sister and I talked about how we agreed with him, and that what he described came from the Great Apostasy. After teaching that, we were better able to explain the NEED of a Restoration. Although he didn't want us to come back either, we got him to take a pamphlet (which I'm pretty sure he'll read - an intellectual guy). Just like with Alaina, I know that this man felt the Spirit too.
The Restoration of the gospel just makes sense. And I'm so grateful that it does because it makes it easier to teach! I appreciate Pres. Uchtdorf's words about the Restoration:
"In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.” ...Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an effort of once a week or once a day. It is an effort of once and for all."
Living the restored gospel makes us BETTER disciples of Christ. I know that that is true because I've SEEN it. And more importantly, I've felt it.
Thanks for your loving examples - they help me to be the person God wants me to be!
Sister Hansen

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Members Are Key

Hello all,
This week has been a busy one! In different ways than anticipated, but busy nonetheless. All of our investigators have pretty much dropped us BUT that doesn't stop us! We are talking to more people and are acting in faith that God's prepared souls will be lead to us or us to them. Right now, we're focusing on getting the members on board with our missionary vision - getting THEM converted to the gospel so that they can "strengthen their brethren". Here are some experiences with that:
We met with our new less-active friend, Haley. The girl is gorgeous and I hope that these bug boys (pest control sellers) don't scare her away by asking her out incessantly (seriously, this would actually happen). We'll have to warn her that the singles Ward is a great place but can be a little... different. Haley told us she was baptized at 14, mainly to please her mom. But luckily she made good friends in active members of the church during high school that are back from college this summer. She definitely has a testimony of the gospel, even told us a cool story about tithing: Her mom told her that she needed to be out of the house once senior year was over (sad) and she didn't know what to do because she only had $20 to her name. She went to church that Sunday and knew she should pay $10 of it to tithing, so she did. Then within a few days she got a call for a new job, where she would eventually make $1200 bi-weekly. Typical tithing miracle story, but you can tell it meant a lot to her. I see great things happening for this girl!

I have come to terms with the inevitability of being late on my mission - it just happens. But one night was the absolute worst... roughly 20 minutes late to each appointment. Like a domino effect, really! We ended up driving to our less-active friend, Mary's, towards the end of our night, and Sister Kartchner and I were ZONKED. And it's not good to be that tired on a 30-minute drive to Manassas. But once we got to Mary's, we felt better. The poor girl got sick with strep throat then a flu or cold bug RIGHT after. She asked for her home teachers to come and give her a blessing, so it was cool that she wanted us to be there for that. A ward member, David, (who served Sacramento Spanish speaking!) gave it and I was quite surprised at how simple and beautiful his blessing was! He told her that Heavenly Father was thankful for her example to her family. She comes from a BIG combined family and they are always in need of her help and she ALWAYS willingly gives it. David doesn't even know Mary that well, but stated that in the blessing... God's power is pretty amazing. After the guys left, Mary told us she already felt a little better – so neat!

A member named Elizabeth told her member friend Kim that she wanted the missionary lessons. We weren't sure why or what she was looking to get from them - but OF COURSE, we were happy to start sharing them with her. It was a great lesson! Poor Elizabeth has been feeling a void of the Spirit lately and just wants to be reminded of her testimony. She mentioned that there was a time she just felt so out of tune with the Spirit that she couldn't get herself to read her scriptures, come to church, or pray (even family meal prayers - sad!). She got a little emotional, but it was great to see the friendship that she had in Kim and others who have helped her out! Thanks to Rafael (a former Brazilian member of the ward), Elizabeth now prays so that she CAN feel the Spirit (not necessarily needing to feel it beforehand in order TO pray). Love how that works.

And one cool miracle from the week (though there were many)...

Did some street contacting this evening while checking on two potentials in Annandale near where Konnie lives. There are SO many Hispanics, so sometimes we can't help but assume that the Spanish missionaries have got this area COVERED. But we saw a cute Latina who was about to walk past us. She had buds in her ears and her phone out, but we chose to stop her anyway. Her name was Maria and she was from Peru. We only got a little bit of our message out before she said, "Where is your church? I want to encourage my family to go." We explained that we were over a young adult congregation and she said, "Oh! My 19-year old niece needs God, I'll go there with her!" Loved her enthusiasm. As we kept sharing our message, she confessed, "It's really amazing that you guys stopped to talk to me because I've been in need of some uplift. I was even at McDonald's today and a Christian man talked to me about his faith, but then he didn't even give me his information! So I'm so glad I met you." GAH. Love having prepared people put in our way and thank Heavenly Father for these opportunities. We got her information and will be back next Friday! Told Sister K after we got in the car, "Times like these make me extra grateful to be a missionary." TRUTH.
Maria's cry for help reminds me that we ALL need to be a little better at opening our mouths. It can be hard and awkward, but it pays off SO much in the end. I love my plaque scripture - Moses 6:32, which reads...

"Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good."

This is SO comforting to me, knowing that it we trust in the Lord and open our mouths, we don't have to worry how the person will respond. ALL flesh is in His hands, and He will take care of it.


Sister Hansen

Photo 1: We went to Petland today, where you can play with puppies or kittens for FREE. This dog was an absolute MENACE... but cute anyway.
Photo 2: At Chuck-E-Cheese last week... you KNOW I love that cotton candy! Didn't get enough tickets though :( So I just bought it with money haha