Friday, October 18, 2013


LUCKILY... the rain did go away. Did anyone see the forecast of the East Coast lately? What a nightmare! We had three straight days of just DOWN-POUR. Not a light mist, but a heavy fall. It was CRAZY. I went through 6 pairs of socks and 3 pairs of boots in 3 days. Absolute mayhem. BUT... it has stopped and the beautiful Fall weather has set in. The leaves are changing and I'm LOVING IT!
So I know that I mentioned that our teaching pool is lacking right now. But I think I failed to say that we do have ONE investigator - and she's PROGRESSING! Such a miracle. Let me tell you about her:
Her name is Sun Tuang and she is from (you guessed it) South Korea! Just like Huneok (who we got to see, by the way. He is moving to Ballston, VA this week - SAD). She has lived in the US with her family (husband and two little girls) for two years while her husband goes to school at Georgetown and works. She is the CUTEST. Unfortunately, we can't understand much of what she says and she can't understand us :( We bring our Korean member so that helps A LOT, but we are really learning how to teach simply! So we were able to get her a Korean Book of Mormon in the hopes that she understood the importance of it and would read it. Found out at our last lesson that she read 4 chapters! FOUR CHAPTERS!!!! This is huge! Haha I was so excited. She said that she was confused, but in my mind, I thought about how the Spirit guided her to read the word, even if she didn't understand much of it. THANKFULLY, we picked up Korean pamphlets and this should help us in our teaching. Pray for Sun and her family!
The majority of our work is with less-actives. The one I told you about last week, Monica Charmok, is doing SO WELL. She joined the church 18 years ago and was only active for 2 years. And though she's thought about going back for a long time, something always stopped her. Monica told us last week that she feels closer than she's ever been. She suffers from anxiety and depression, so going to church can be difficult for her. BUT we missionaries are good at starting with the basics. We are getting her to pray VOCALLY (remember that counsel?) and to read her scriptures each day - we know that this will REALLY prepare her for entering into those chapel doors again. She even told us last week that she was once on track to enter the temple and how she desires to have that be her goal again. AMAZING!
I feel so blessed to be working with Monica. She reminds me a lot of my beloved Sister Bradshaw from Great Falls. Missionary work extends to more than just baptisms - I'm a firm believer in that, CLEARLY! Haha but seriously, I can see the Spirit work within these women and its changing their lives! All they need is someone to show them and a lot of love and support from the ward. I feel blessed to be a part in their returning back to that which they once loved and knew to be true. It's humbling really - take nothing for granted... especially the GOSPEL!
Thank you so much for all of the love and prayers! I feel them all! Have a wonderful week and enjoy the FALL - before it's gone!
Sister Hansen
This is our Zone at "Gifts of the Heart"! It's an annual event where members of the church donate things they don't want and it turns into this GIANT one-day thrift store where less-fortunate members and nonmembers can take stuff home for FREE. It's really cool! We got to help out :)


So something I failed to mention at the start of last transfer is that Sister Mitchell and I (who are still together and in Oakton!) have been assigned to teach an English As a Second Language class (ESL). These types of classes are HUGE in the DC area because there are SO many different nationalities. Well, this week was our first class! We hold it on Fridays in the morning and afternoon, an hour each. We have it in the community center of a government housing project called Yorkville in Fairfax. This complex is comprised of nearly 90% political refugees and most of that 90% being from Somalia. So no English... no matter how long they've lived here. It's a challenge! But I LOVED IT! It was SO MUCH FUN. I taught students from Morocco, Korea, Pakistan, China, and Lao. It's so cute to see how HARD they work on they're English. Some take notes and everything. We even had two ladies come to BOTH classes, just so they could learn more. One lady from South Korea thanked me for speaking so clearly and being a good teacher... warmed my heart! I LOVE being surrounded by so much diversity. Probably, hands down, the best part of this mission.
For conference this weekend, we had a miracle! We watched Saturday morning session as a less active's house. Her name is Monika Charmok and she joined the church 18 years ago, but has been less active for a long time. She has some anxiety and depression issues, so I wish we had watched Elder Holland's talk with her! But we actually found out THAT DAY that this was her first conference she had EVER watched. AMAZING! She currently has a roommate (temporary) who is from Arizona! Her name is Carla Mannes, and she is a HOOT. She is a member of the Church and really helped get our Sister Charmok involved in this conference session! So grateful for her. So grateful for GREAT members!
Well, I really did LOVE conference. I don't even know where to start with my favorite parts. But I was looking over my notes today and something jumped out at me. It was from President Uchtdorf's talk, when he responded to "Why join this church?" The first point he mentioned - "Because it is a church that was restored by Christ HIMSELF." Have you ever thought of it that way? I don't think I have. We tell people all about Joseph Smith and his role in the Restoration, but none of that would have happened had Christ not appeared to him in the first place! But I LOVE THAT. This is HIS church and it was brought back in HIS time, with the partnership of our loving Heavenly Father. It's incredible!
I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this day and time. Thank you all SO much for your love and prayers. I know I say this all the time, but they mean the world to me!
Sister Hansen
1) This is Hermana Ward! Who I went on the Spanish exchange with. She's da best!


This week went by EXTREMELY fast. We had lots of meetings and different things going on.One of the meetings was a Half Mission Conference, where we talked about the baptism goal as a mission for the rest of the year. The goal is for 166 baptisms - one per companionship per month. YIKES. Sister Mitchell and I are ready to WORK. We've lost most of our investigators this week due to different reasons, so we're ready to find the ELECT.
So we had exchanges (when you mix-up companionships) with the Spanish Hermanas from Spring Lake Ward! They went really well! Hermana Stanford came to Oakton to help Sister Mitchell out - that's when they found us a new investigator, Jerome! (Who we now have to drop because his wife won't let him learn :( ) And I went with Hermana Ward to Sprink Lake. It was great! I wish I could have been of more assistance in the language department, but I could actually understand MOST of what was being said. Hermana Ward asked one of her investigators who she would like to say the opening prayer during a lesson. She offered herself and a member that was present as "Espanol" prayers or me, an "Ingles" prayer. Her investigator chose me! Haha so I said a very simple prayer in English and though I know her sweet spirit couldn't understand too much of what I said, I hope she felt the Spirit!
We had a miracle in bringing a referral from the Hermanas to the New Member Fireside last night! We called him at 6:30, got a member to pick all us up, and went an hour later! I've never seen the work hasten so quickly! Sadly, we had to hand him over - but to the Oak Marr sisters... WHOM WE LOVE! (They live in our complex and we give them rides everywhere because they're on bike). So I couldn't be happier. Can't wait to work hard to achieve this baptism goal - we're gonna make it!
I so appreciate all of your love and prayers. I feel them everyday! Some days, I find myself so EXCITED to go out and find people, even though I know rejection is inevitable, and I really think it's because of the prayers you're sending my way. So THANK YOU!
Again, apologies for a short message. Next week will be of more substance :)
Sister Hansen
Us messing around in Target :)


This week went by SO fast. Can you believe transfers are in a week and a half? So insane. Sister Mitchell and I have NO idea about what is going to happen. She wants to train again (not because she doesn't like me [maybe], she just loves being a trainer) and I... don't know what I want! Haha but what I FEEL like is going to happen is that I will be staying in this area at least another transfer. A missionary pointed out to me that there are "mover" missionaries, that get transferred every few transfers, and then there's "stayers" - like me. Great Falls for 6 months, Oakton for... who knows! I do love the ward and have a strong desire to increase their own efforts in missionary work. We'll see what happens!
So a woman I have yet to tell you about is Elena Novikova. We met Elena outside as she was doing some lawn renovation in her front yard. She is originally from Moscow, Russia and has been in the states for over 10 years. She has had a VERY VERY sad and hard life. And because she's quite the talker, Sister Mitchell and I have tried to listen and be supportive to her. But after visiting her about the fourth time, we FINALLY had a lesson with her! By the end, she wanted to read the Book of Mormon, and she offered the closing prayer! We were so elated.
...But then, we went back to see how she was doing and it was not good. She had been crying, saying that she recently had talked with her relatives in Russia who want to practically disown her because of decisions she's made. She even told us that she tried to open the Book of Mormon but the Holy Spirit told her not to (doubtful)... that it's not HER book. SO DEPRESSING. She feels a sense of loyalty to her family and the Russian Orthodox church. After all this, we said a prayer with her and then she dismissed us. We still keep in touch with her and pray for her daily. It's hard to see someone who could use the gospel SO MUCH and then to deny it. Please pray for Elena, that her heart will be softened!
A miracle we had this week was when we were in an Elena's neighborhood actually, and we saw someone parking a U-Haul outside her house. We were so confused! We waited for the person to come out and then went up and talked to him. Turns out, his name is Amit (ah-meet), and he lived around the corner but needed a place to park his U-Haul for the night. He is originally from Nepal and his wife just moved to the US one week ago! As we taught him a little about the Restoration, he says "You need to help my wife learn English!". We told him we'd love to! He then said "How about right now?" So he takes us to the apartment where they're living, which is with his wife's sister and roommate (and their children). We spend the rest of the night teaching about the nature of God, the Spirit, and prayer! Renu, Amit's wife, was so great. She enjoyed the lesson and took hold of the chance to practice her English. So much so that she offered a prayer in English at the end! It was simple and beautiful.
I hope you all took my challenge to pray vocally. It really is life-changing, and I notice it's power now more than ever with my investigators. But what's so important to go along with that prayer is the SPIRIT. We were asked to memorize more scriptures on our missions, so the one I chose this week is D&C 8:2-3:
2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
3 Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
How AMAZING is it to know that the Spirit we feel when we pray and when we receive revelation is the SAME spirit that Moses had when he performed this almighty miracle?! I love how God works. He's no respecter of persons. There aren't multiple kinds of Spirit, testifying of Him - JUST ONE. And we have it, or at least can feel it! Seek it throughout your day. It is there, I promise.
I love you all! Thanks for YOUR prayers on my behalf. They bring the Spirit into my life, even more so! Have a wonderful week :)
Sister Hansen

1) My new LONG nails! I'm a happy girl :)


Seriously though guys! It was an amazing week. THANK YOU for all of the birthday wishes! 22 feels old, though I know it's not. The mission is just so... young. Haha nonetheless, I had so many kind missionaries and ward members wish me a happy birthday! It felt nice :)
The BIG event of the week though was Friday - Zone Conference and NATIONALS GAME. To start with Zone Conference, we learned about the importance of having investigators offer a vocal prayer in the lesson. It can be difficult because the Bible technically talks about praying in "secret" and in your "closets". But how HUGE of a step it is when we DO get someone to pray out loud! D&C 19:28 talks about how praying vocally is a commandment! So this is something we're working on applying more in a our lessons. Had a great example occur this past week:
We found a new investigator! Her name is Geeta, and she's a busy mom of a 4 year old son, named Darin. She is Hindu and comes from Mumbai, India. We found her tracting and talked about prayer, the nature of God and baptism on her door step. She invited us to come back a couple days later, where we were able to bring a member with us! Well, the time came for us to have a closing prayer and we asked her to offer it. She seemed a little hesitant, but then asked, "What if you said a prayer first? Then I can model my prayer after yours!" We were excited! I said a short, slow prayer, asking for the Spirit to remain and testify. Then SHE said a prayer, expressing thanks for her family and for us. It was TENDER! Our member was so excited that she prayed, that she start light clapping as soon as the prayer was over hahaha. But the Spirit was there, and Geeta felt it. We look forward to seeing her again really soon!
Now to the NATS GAME. What a TREAT!!! Since it was only three days after my birthday, I considered it a birthday game. It was INCREDIBLE! Being there with the whole mission, talking to everyone, people seeing our tags and asking questions, riding the Metro at midnight and being so swamped... IT WAS THE BEST. It will be such a great memory for me! I have met so many wonderful missionaries here and love spending time with ALL of them. Heavenly Father knows I love baseball and friends... He truly blessed me this week :)
To repeat what I said earlier, I know the importance of praying out loud! Think about it... we can write our testimonies down wherever we went, but when we get up and say our testimony in sacrament meeting - how much more powerful is the Spirit? To vocalize our testimonies is to bring the Spirit one hundred-fold! The same goes with prayers. Always have a prayer in your heart - I'm working on that as a missionary. But I challenge all of you to say at least one vocal prayer a day. Keep that Spirit present in your life!
Love you all and thanks again!
Sister Hansen
1) Happy Birthday to me! Hahaha this is at a member's house for dinner. Sister Mitchell made it known it was my birthday, so the lovely member put a candle in my vanilla pudding :)