Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hillary at the Pentagon!

LOTS to update you on this week! I apologize for the late send of this e-mail - preparation day was CRAZY. We actually were able to go on a tour of the Pentagon, guided by a member of our ward that works there! Pretty neat (see attached picture)... definitely helped boost my patriotism. The 9/11 Memorial was special too!

So to start with Chad - he's doing... okay. He did a little researching of his own on the internet and was discouraged, to say the least, about what he found. Remember, Chad is a very intellectual guy. He likes the facts and even admits to struggling with the "faith" part (SO IMPORTANT). We had two lessons with him this past week, and they just didn't go as planned. However, he came to our ward Christmas party, to church, and to a Christmas Concert held on Sunday night. I would say his testimony lies first in the people of the Church, then in the church services themselves, and then... somewhere down the line... the actual doctrine and Restoration of the gospel. So our focus this week is to get him BACK to focusing on the basics - the Book of Mormon and PRAYER. I know, without a doubt, that THIS is what will help him with his objections and concerns. We have a lesson with him tonight and plan on getting him to focus more on his heart than his mind, and that way, the Spirit will fuel his desire to find out if the Book of Mormon is TRUE scripture! Keep him in your prayers :)
Brother Garlock is doing well! He is coming to church this Sunday, and we will meet with him afterwards. After a VERY long lesson this past week on the second floor of a trendy McDonald's in Arlington, we finally discovered what his major concern is. He's very personal about it, so I won't share it on here. However, I know that all he needs to remember and understand is that God has not forgotten him. We're working with him on praying in front of us (at the end of lessons and such), but he's being a tough cookie. I think that the more we remind him about the beautiful simplicity of the gospel, his testimony will allow him to open up more and be willing to PRAY!
Marvin is our NEW less-active member that we're working with. He is what you would call a "golden" less-active (similar to a "golden" investigator), meaning there is no pushing or shoving on our parts in order to get him to come to church. He just comes and LOVES coming! Even he can't explain why. We know why (the Spirit), but his main concern is understanding WHY God is leading him on this path back to the gospel. He desires to make more mental sense of it. If you haven't gotten the drift of this e-mail yet, every man we're teaching these days is QUITE logical in their thinking - this makes for a challenge! Nonetheless, it's a challenge that Sister Anderson and I need to work with and face at this time. So Marvin was baptized at 13, but after his parents divorced soon after, he stopped coming to church. He just started coming back two months ago... over 20 YEARS after he was baptized! He told us he has known for the last few years that something has been missing in his life. We're SO excited he's found it! We get to go to the Temple Visitor's Center with him and his less-active 70 year old mother to see the lights, have a tour, and watch the "Britton Family" perform. Can't wait!
I'll leave you with a final miracle. So this past Sunday, all the missionaries in the Mount Vernon Virginia Stake performed in that Christmas Concert (previously mentioned). It was a very cool experience! We sang a mash-up of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and "Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains" done by Larry Clouse, a member in the Mount Vernon Ward (you can find him on Facebook and probably Youtube). The spirit was really strong! Apparently, a man named Gaspar, who I thought was a MEMBER of our ward and who I happened to talk to after the concert (without knowing this information), went up to the stake president and said, "I want to be baptized!" So we're working with him on that! Met with him last night - he's been investigating for over 20 years and just wants to be baptized outside :) Pray that Gaspar will understand that TRUE importance of baptism!

I'm so grateful to be out here, learning from these wonderful men! My own testimony has been strengthened CONSTANTLY as I try to listen to and understand their concerns. I'm so thankful that they're not my own! But when it comes down to it, I KNOW that each man can receive revelation directly from our Heavenly Father in order to resolve their own troubles with the gospel (says Preach My Gospel). Thank you for all of your prayers!
Sister Hansen

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