Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hillary Helps Youth with Temple Walk

Hello Everyone! Thank you for all your well wishes and love. A shout-out to my best friend, Kelsey Bucsko. YOU WROTE ME! Haha you're the best, and do expect a letter coming your way VERY soon!
This week has ALSO gone by insanely fast. But I love it! Seeing as we didn't get to teach a single lesson this week or have any progressing investigators, you think we would be down and out with a slow, uneventful week. WRONG. Sister Evans and I are a happy bunch because we know that those prepared people are out there! We just need to find them :)
So here are a few things that I've noticed about Virginia that I have failed to mention in my past e-mails:
1) Everyone has a dog. I haven't SEEN this many dogs since I lived in Bozeman, Montana last summer. I wouldn't consider Virginia to even be that dog-friendly, but apparently, it's the "in" thing to have a dog. And it turns out I HATE dogs now. I actually really, kind of do. They disrupt the Spirit and make it difficult to get into doors. Satan controls them - I just know it.
2) Mineral water. Why? That stuff is gross. But everyone here drinks it! I'll peer into cars (non-creepily) and see a bottle of Perrier just chillin' in the cup holder. We are always offered it at our member dinners too, and of course, kindly decline. Sister Evans doesn't like it either. We even tracted into a lady who let us in only to give us blueberry muffins and club soda. SICK.
3) Virginia apparently doesn't have an affinity for a variety of stores - of any sort. I can't tell you how many McDonald's I've seen here. Oh and Panera Breads. Then there's CVS and Staples. And can't forget 7 Elevens... with no gas station attached! YEAH! Weird, right? I encourage you all to look up store locations for each of these stores and SEE how many are in Vienna, McLean, and Tyson's Corner alone. It's insane.
4) Lastly, the traffic here is RIDICULOUS. Like, really crazy. Californians - be happy! We sit in about 20 minutes of IN-TOWN traffic on the regular. Not just on the freeways, but in town. It blows my mind!
5) Oh and there's lots of Range Rovers. And Colonial-style homes here. Those are your only options, apparently.
This week was so great though! On Wednesday, we were able to help out with a Young Men/Young Women activity at the mall called "Where's Malldo?". Basically, members from the ward will dress up in disguise and walk around the mall until the youth find them. When they find them, they'll ask "What time is it?" And the disguised members have to say "It's Great Falls time!" (Great Falls is our ward). Then you hand over a token and whatever team gets all the tokens first wins! So Sister Evans and I dressed up as bums! I had my flannel shirt on with my beanie over my long hair (which kind of gave me away, oh well). But it was so FUN! Grateful to have such a great ward and great youth :)
On Saturday, Sister Evans and I got to help with the youth yet AGAIN. So the McLean Stake was holding a Temple Walk, where the youth would walk 13.7 miles from the Arlington ward building to the actual Washington DC Temple! Our ward was in charge of the Bethesda, Maryland aid station and we were asked to help! Because this is out of our mission boundaries (it's in the DC North mission), our mission president had to ask Elder Hallstrom of the Seventy if we could go! WOAH. He let us go! It was a very short time, but we were able to cheer on the youth as they came into the station and cheer them back out as they finished the last 3.7 miles! What a wonderful experience! It made me miss youth activities, actually.
BUT I was EXTRA excited to go to Bethesda. Why, you ask? Because it is where the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series takes place! AH! I know, I'm a nerd. I felt like I was meeting someone famous by going to this town! It was very green and beautiful, with a cool downtown and gorgeous houses. Very impressed! And now I can say that I've officially been to Bethesda, Maryland :)
So unfortunately, we had to drop Sharon. She isn't returning any of our calls and we don't feel welcomed back to the house. SAD. We know that she'll come around one day though - she is prepared! However, we do have an investigator Glen, who I may have mentioned before. His wife is a less-active member and our lessons with them always go really well! We were SHOCKED to see Glen at church last week, by himself, without his wife. He didn't even tell us he was coming! And then he showed up AGAIN yesterday! (This time we did know beforehand). But it's amazing to see his progression even as he comes to church. He's making it a priority! We just need to get him to read the scriptures daily, and then we're golden :) But I'm so grateful for amazing ward members who reached out to him and are trying to become his friend. It's so important because we missionaries aren't here forever!
I continue to pray everyday that we find those that Heavenly Father has prepared us to teach. I LOVE this area, but it isn't easy. Never assumed it would be though, I guess! I still feel so blessed everyday to be out here and meeting people, members and non-members alike. I know that I wouldn't be able to have any of these experiences without my mission. I'm gaining a testimony of missionary work that I never had before I came out - and that's what's really important as I focus on progressing the work AFTER my mission as well!
Sister Hansen
1) Ecouragement at Youth Temple Walk
2) My district last transfer - two elders are leaving, but Sister Evans and I are staying together!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Wow. Where to start! This week was GREAT and went by EXTREMELY fast. We had three large meetings take place this week so it made the time fly right on by. The first was Zone Training on Tuesday. Our zone got together and learned from our leaders about a various subjects. We then watched the talk by Brad Wilcox "His Grace is Sufficient". LOVE IT. Dad actually sent me this talk about a month ago, so it was already familiar to me. But I could never watch/read this talk enough times! Go watch/read it if you haven't already! It'll change your life. I know it's already changed how I phrase/approach things in my missionary work!
At Zone Training, they also announced that our zone, McLean Zone, is the NUMBER ONE zone in the mission on baptismal invites and baptisms! We have been for awhile now, but I just forgot to tell you! Because we were number one, we actually had a BBQ last week provided by our mission president. Don't I feel special?! And so blessed to be in the most recognized zone in the mission - in my very first transfer! I'm learning so much from my zone and have a lot of respect for each missionary! I've attached a picture with my zone leader, Elder Hanson. This was his last transfer EVER so I took a picture with him and our name tags (Hanson and Hansen, get it?).
The next day, Wednesday, was interesting. My companion, Sister Evans, has had problems with abcesses (sp?) in the past and had one that needed to be trained. So guess where we had to go? The emergency room! I've never been to the ER before! We were there for 3 hours because of the wait. But it turned out well! She had her procedure done by a Mormon physician's assistant! What are the chances? But she's been in a lot of pain since. I feel bad, but I think it's getting better!
On Thursday, we had a meeting called Return and Report, where I was able to meet up with my old MTC buddies! It was AWESOME. I got to see Sister Mitchell again (my MTC companion) - what a wonderful reunion! We heard from our mission president and his wife, so it was a great meeting. We even had ANOTHER meeting on Friday called Sister's Meeting and it was all the sisters in the WHOLE MISSION. So cool! I have that picture as well. I feel so blessed to be in this mission and to learn SO MUCH from SO many different people.
We taught three lessons to Sharon this week! They've gone REALLY well, but she's still having difficulty grasping organized religion because of her bad experiences in the past. I hope that we can teach her that church is yet ANOTHER way to receive revelation for ourselves - to find out those things that God is wanting us to know! He has these blessings that He is ready and willing to give us... but we have to go out and get them! Faith without works is dead, right? For some reason, it's tough for people to understand it. They think that as long as they're engaged in certain service projects that they'll be fine. Nope, not enough. We have to devote our time inwardly as well as outwardly - through prayer, scripture reading, and church attendance! It's all important and I hope we can get Sharon to realize that! Oh and get her to move out of her fiancee's house. He says we can't have lessons there anymore :(
One funny experience I must share. There's this old woman named Nina (pronounced Nine-Uh) who is a potential investigator. Not quite interested in the gospel, but LOVES visits from missionaries. We went to her house on Saturday night to see how she was doing and she talked for DAYZZZ. But it was awesome. She eventually let us in and showed us ALL of her garage sale finds (she's 88 years old and a hoarder, mind you). Eventually, she showed us her cool accordian/organ piano thing. She plays it to help relieve stress in her back. We didn't really understand that until she showed us. She started playing beautifully... then all of a sudden her hands would stay on notes for awhile and she would lean over, almost hitting her head on the actual keys. Sister Evans and I looked at each other - is she dying right now?!?!? Just picture this REALLY old woman completely bent over with her tiny piano, eventually holding notes that weren't as pleasant. But then just as suddenly, she pops back up! I started dying laughing because I really thought she was losing her life while playing the piano.
...I don't know if this story made sense. Maybe you had to be there, but it was HYSTERICAL. I love meeting crazy people. One of the perks of being a missionary, I suppose :)
Thank you for ALL of your love and support! It means the world to me. I feel your prayers everyday and they help fill me with the desire to keep serving and teaching! I can't even put into words the lessons I've learned since being out on a mission - there's too many... and it's only being 2 months! I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord. One scripture I found this week after pondering why God blessed ME with the gospel, why I was born into this church, how did I get so lucky, and so on - 1 Corinthians 10:15. Peter explains it beautifully.
"But by the grace of God I AM WHAT I AM (emphasis added): and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me".
I am a member of this church for A REASON. He put me where I'm at because He knew I could handle it. He knew that I could live His higher law! I'm so grateful for His trust in me and I don't EVER want to let Him down.
Sister Hansen
1. Elder Hanson (my Zone Leader) and I
2. Sister Mitchell and I - REUNITED!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


MY DREAM JOB! I found an executive affiliate office for Christie's International Realty, my dream place to work one day :)
What a wonderful weekend of spiritual upliftment! But before I dive into that, I'd like to give a shout-out to Sister Linda Jacobsen and The Rasmussens. Thank you SO MUCH for your kind Easter cards! They touched me, and really meant a lot to me! Missionaries LOVE mail. So thank you :)
So about conference - my favorite (obviously) had to be Elder Holland's. Let us fan our flame of FAITH. No matter what it is that we know... it is ENOUGH. How comforting that is to me, especially on a mission. Sometimes I feel like I don't know as much as I should to be out here, but as long as I can bear testimony of what I DO know - it is enough. What an amazing thing to hear. Gotta love those Apostles of the Lord!
This week we picked up a new investigator! Her name is Sharon and she's originally from Augusta, Georgia. She has had a rough upbringing and isn't a fan of organized religion because of some heinous things that pastors have done to her and her family in the past. Nonetheless, she is a loving and God-fearing woman! She prays everyday and repents everyday. She just needs to know that the Atonement can be truly fulfilled through her coming to church and partaking of the Sacrament. I LOVE how much the Sacrament was talked about in conference! It reiterated how really important it is in our EVERYDAY lives. I encourage you all to contemplate your own personal connection with Christ as you take the Sacrament next week - and see what you're ready to change in order to be closer to Him.
We also met a couple here in the ward named the Bywaters. They have lived in Vienna for over forty years I think. They are both service missionaries for BYU-Idaho in their internship expedition department. They set up appointments for students that fly out to DC so that they can meet companies and such. It's exactly what I did in NYC last year, but for DC. So NATURALLY, I love this couple. They are some GREAT missionaries too. They told us that they sent out a flyer in their neighborhood inviting people to come over one night to learn more about the LDS church when Romney was elected as the GOP candidate. And guess how many people turned up - 27!!! They had 27 people in their house asking about the church! I was amazed and grateful to know of their desire for people to TRULY understand what we believe.
I'm so thankful for this church and for the members in it. I'm thankful for THEIR influence on others. I can't tell you how many doors we knocked where people weren't necessarily interested, but knew of some GREAT members of the church. They even take the time to tell us all about them and why they admire. So keep it up guys! Give our church a good name! Seeing as this is God's true church on the Earth - we should do it justice, right?
Thank you for all you do! LOVE YOU ALL!
Sister Hansen

Friday, April 5, 2013


Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday and continually thought about our great and loving Savior! I surely haven't thought as much about Jesus Christ on Easter as I should have in the past - being on the mission shows that! We had the opportunity to be fed TWICE by two different families on Easter. We're so blessed. The first was with the Taylors, a young couple in the ward who had a set of parents over from Cardston, Canada as well as the Cannons (YES, the Cannon's from my one e-mail) over too! It was great. Lots of talk about Church History. I just sat there and listened. Sis Taylor (the older, visiting parent from Canada) said she knew where Elk, WA was because she's driven through it quite a few times. YAY FOR ELK! She says the next time I'm there, I need to look for a wonderful biking trail by Sandpoint, ID. We'll see if I remember to do that :)
We also ate at Hartt family home. The Hartt's have three kids, one on a mission in Anaheim and their daughter just got called to Irvine - the new mission! She's actually going to be Spanish-speaking and gets to go to the Mexico City MTC to learn the language. Pretty cool, huh? But the Easter feast was the BEST. So much good food with lots of flavor. HEY, I tried salmon! For those of you who don't know me as well - I HATE seafood. But I told my companion I would try it so I did. It wasn't too bad actually. Would I order it ever? Probably not. But it was okay! They had over another young couple in our ward and a recent convert that's a friend of theirs. It was a wonderful dinner!
Our actual Easter service was awesome. The Ward Choir sang a few songs and they actually had a HANDBELL choir too! YES, like at Will C. Wood! It was so pretty and magical, with the bells ringing throughout the chapel. I LOVED it. Made me want to play. We had great speakers and lessons all day. There was even a recent convert who came to church that we hadn't seen in a while. His name is Conrad Coovert, and he's quite the spaz. I think he might be somewhat Autistic, but I'm not sure. He just makes lots of comments that are rarely relevant, but you know he has a good heart.
I actually forgot to tell you about the first time we met him. We were visiting another recent convert's house and we didn't know that the two of them were friends! So Conrad comes out and immediately starts telling my companion and I what celebrities we look like. Hahaha my companion is black, so he was listing people like Raven Symone, Oprah Winfrey, and Whoopi Goldberg. HAHA. I was dying. He told me I looked like Miley Cyrus (Kelsey Bucsko and Nana seem to agree - before the butch blonde cut thought, obviously), Shakira, Alanis Morissette, and Kate Beckinsale. Hahaha such RANDOM celebrities, but all really pretty in their own right so I was flattered. But he's a pretty funny guy! Just hard to keep him reverant sometimes :)
Well, my companion's kicking me off. I will send pictures next week. We didn't have any lessons this week :( But I blame it all on Spring Break and having NO ONE in town. But that's okay! This week will be better.
LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for your love and prayers.
Sister Hansen