Friday, February 21, 2014


So I definitely forgot to tell you about an important event that happened on the 8th of February - Sun Jung Taung got baptized in Oakton! Can you believe it?! I KNOW. After almost a year, I've had my first baptism. Pretty exciting! The ENTIRE service, aside from some translation, was in Korean. Thankfully, there are some Korean members out here that were able to help her in her progression with the gospel. We heard a couple talks in Korean, prayers in Korean, and the actual ordinance was done in Korean. Sun was so cute in her HUGE white jumpsuit. This was Sister Mitchell's first baptism as well. If you don't remember, she was my MTC companion AND my companion during my time in Oakton. We started teaching Sun together first, then I left, and then her and her trainee finished teaching her. All in all, it was about 5 months from the time Sun started learning till the day she was baptized. Sister Mitchell and I got to watch her come out of the font - it was pretty amazing. What a whirlwind of a day, but so special. Sister Mitchell and I also had the chance to teach together one last time in front of all the attendants, including Sun's non-member husband, Chur. We taught the message of the Restoration (we found out that we were doing it 10 minutes beforehand) and were able to bear our testimonies. Oh man, I love the rhythm her and I had! Just reminds me of old times. Love that girl! Sun bore her testimony at the very end in Korean, with some translation, and she basically said:
"I still don't know very much about this church, but I know how it makes me feel. I pray when I need help and feel very good inside. I love reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and seeing how many people care for me and my family. I look forward to growing more in this church."
Mind you all, she has a Buddhist background. I look forward to the day when her and her family return back to Korea to find how STRONG the church is there. She will be able to rear her daughters up in righteousness and become an even stronger disciple of Jesus Christ. And I KNOW her husband will find himself accepting this gospel one day as well. Can't wait for them to be an eternal family!
I don't have much time to write, but I'm so grateful for this gospel! I know that by living it, we experience TRUE and EVERLASTING happiness. Of course, there will be hard times, but if we put our trust in God, He will ALWAYS see us through.
Sister Hansen


So we had transfers this week, and I've been moved out of my apartment! Goodbye bed bugs, goodbye indian food smells from neighbors, goodbye view of the potomac river, goodbye roommates (I will miss them DEARLY). HELLO "Bailey's Crossing", a swanky-swank apartment complex on the Falls Church side of Alexandria. I've been moved here because I will now be serving alongside Sister Kellie Deaver, who had previously been serving over Shirlington Ward. But the SHOCKER - we will now be over both the Potomac Mid-Singles Ward AND Shirlington Ward. AHHH! I was SUPER surprised when President Riggs flung that on us, for all of the missionaries in the entire mission to see. I'm sure my face wasn't pretty. But here I am!
Sister Deaver is from Rocklin, CA. Like me, she is a college graduate. Like me, she went to BYU-Idaho (but graduated in Communications, not Business). And like me, she loves musicals! It's a MATCH. However, she's only been on her mission for 3 months. So I've got a newbie on my hands! It's exciting though and hopefully I'll have a positive impact on one that is still trying to grasp everything (mission life takes some adjusting). Sister Deaver actually knows Derek Evans, Dana's old missionary companion, and Tyson Wheeler, Dana's old roommate. SMALL WORLD!
Yesterday, because of our new assignment, we spent SIX HOURS at church. Yikes! Now I can get a feeling for what Bishops and Stake Presidents go through. It's hard stuff! I usually don't fall asleep in church (on my mission, at least), but yesterday was a STRUGGLE. So this will definitely take some adjusting :) But the Shirlington ward seems very nice - a lot smaller and less talkative than the Potomac Ward, but still lovely. We have a homeless investigator named Oliver that came to church in Shirlington, and then Arthur came to church in Potomac... WIN WIN!
I will miss Sister Anderson and her bubbly laugh and personality! One of the last lessons we taught together was with Marvin, our returning less-active. We taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. The Spirit was strong! And Marvin was able to share a spiritual experience of his (first time EVER). He said:
"I remember in my late 20's, so before I even thought about coming back to church, I was riding with my friend in his car. All of a sudden, I felt I should tell him to slow down and almost stop. As soon as I did that, a car came whizzing past us, swerved and hit a power-line pole that came crashing down across the street. Had we not slowed down, we would have been under that pole. I didn't realize that that could have been the Spirit but now I do!"
I'm so grateful for the Spirit and its promptings. I know that most times, we won't even realize it's the Spirit until a while after the fact. But it's SO important to go through with those little nudges or thoughts. We are promised that as long as we're living righteously, those small moments of inspiration or alarm are more than likely the Spirit trying to communicate with us. Just today, I was reading about Nephi in Helaman and how the Spirit helped him keep God's command of telling everyone to repent!

Helaman 10:17
"And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people."

Without the Spirit, I COULD NOT do this work. Wouldn't be possible. So grateful to know that those that humble themselves CAN allow the Spirit to touch their hearts to know if the gospel is true. Pay attention to how the Spirit works with you in YOUR life, and I know that you will see those small but powerful miracles.
Sister Hansen

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Another week flown by! First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their support in my measly talent of singing "Amazing Grace". (AVAILABLE TO VIEW ON SISTER HILLARY HANSEN FACEBOOK WALL) We had the opportunity to sing that at a musical fireside that the missionaries in our zone (the Arlington Zone) put on last Sunday (the 26th). It was amazing! The chapel started out being not so full, but as time went on, people started trickling in. By the time I performed, there were many people - which was frightening! But an investigator that the Arlington sisters are teaching came up to us and asked if we would sing that at his baptism this coming weekend (the 8th). I feel so honored and privileged! At the fireside, we also had an elder originally from the Ukraine play his Ukrainian flute (SO COOL). The sound of the flute is similar to what's being played in the opening instrumental number on the Titanic (MY FAVE). And there was also a 10-year old cello prodigy from one of the wards that played. Overall, a successful event!
We taught Arthur again this week, it went really well. He came to church on Sunday and we met with him after. He is a BUSY guy! He works at the Patent Office in Old Town Alexandria and was just recently asked to do another side project for NASA. Hence, we're having a hard time meeting with him within the week. But he's committed! During the lesson, we asked him if he believed Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He said, "You know, because I'm a lawyer, I find that I do need to do a bit more studying on my part. But as far as his vision goes, I mean... I definitely think that it is highly possible that he saw God and Jesus Christ!" Well... that's a start! We're really excited for him - he's so open. And gets along SO WELL with people in the ward. As far as the "studying" he needs to about Joseph Smith, we're going to try and avoid a "Chad" moment and get him started on MORMON.ORG. That website is so amazing! We committed to go on it this week - I'm interested to find out what he's read!
As for Chad, we had a lesson this past Saturday with him and decided afterwards that we needed to drop him. He is too contentious and not very open. He reads the Book of Mormon with critical eyes and is no longer coming to church. It saddens me to let someone go that has such a strong faith in Christ and God, but I believe that in time, he will be ready to accept the restored gospel. We're hoping that members of the ward will still invite him to things and keep him engaged!

Here's a cool miracle we experienced:

We decided to sit down with each Relief Society and Elders Quorum president this past month to discuss the members in their organizations. As missionaries, we want to help and bless ALL of God's children, so we invited them to think about who could benefit from visits with us! Well, one Elders Quorum president gave us the name of a woman! He said her name was Danielle and she had contacted our bishop last July to find out if someone could come give her a blessing. She had grown-up in the church, with a currently active mother in Utah, who advised her to get this blessing after being diagnosed with cancer. So our EQP went with another member to give her the blessing, but hadn't heard from her since. He had texted and e-mailed her (maybe a couple of times) but received no reply. So he wanted US to go check on her! We wrote down that address, and I just remember it sounding very familiar to me. About a week later, we put her in the plans, and as we put it into the GPS, I said "Hold on, Michelle in our ward (who is active) lives on this street too, I know it!" Soon enough, we realized that they were roommates. We had NO idea! Even though we had eaten at Michelle's two or three times over the past couple of months, we had NEVER met Danielle. So... we went over to their apartment, expecting to find Michelle home, but instead, DANIELLE WAS! And we were able to get to know her and her boyfriend, who's an active member in DC. Turns out, she gave her records over to the Crystal City Ward and seems to be closely involved with Bishop Graham of that ward. WOW! We couldn't believe the turnaround! We were expecting someone who was distant from the gospel, but instead found this woman who was just coming back. We're pretty sure that priesthood blessing must have changed her life :)

I'm so grateful for this gospel! I'm grateful for Elders Quorum presidents that pay attention to the Spirit. I'm grateful for ambitious members that bring their friends to church. I'm grateful for difficult people to teach because it makes ME a better teacher. And I'm so grateful for our Savior, that through him and His GRACE, we can all achieve "never-ending happiness" (Mosiah 2:41).
Sister Hansen

Our zone went BOWLING. Too fun.


It's been a CRAZY month. But so many miracles and blessings have occurred! Where to start is the question... how about "updates"?
1) Brother Garlock is moving to North Carolina this week for a new job :( But he's leaving on a good note and wants to meet with missionaries down there. So that's great! He's opened up so much - comes to church willingly and reads his scriptures. We're REALLY trying to get him to trust God again through prayer and it's happening... slowly but surely :) He gave Sister Anderson and I each a notebook filled with cool stories he used to use in his mission for Sacrament talks and such. SUCH a nice gesture! We'll keep in touch with him via Facebook to make sure he's keeping in line!
2) Chad - we went a little backwards with him. Meaning we hit a good peak, where he was coming to church and reading and praying - and then all of a sudden, he hit a brick wall. He got back into contact with his old church and things got contentious. We're taking it REALLY slow with him. Keep him in your prayers please! I have never wanted to "drop" someone so badly in my missionary life, but the Spirit keeps reminding that he IS listening to what we say... just not always acting on it in the right way. We're hoping the Spirit will break down his walls fairly soon.
3) MARVIN IS ON FIRE. He passed the Sacrament for the FIRST TIME last week. He was so nervous, but he did such a good job. He's preparing for his new calling as "Sacrament Coordinator" and so he's getting to know more people in the ward, which is EXCELLENT. He needs more actually BUDS in the ward, so we hope that happens soon. We just taught him about tithing, which was something he was nervous about. But after our lesson, we asked "Will you keep this law?" He said "Yeah! Now that I know exactly what it's all about!" Haha love this guy!
Now for "new" news:
So our meeting time for church has changed from 8am to 11:30am - can you say INFLUX?!?! Our chapel is busting at the SEAMS. Which is good thing! Two weeks ago, we had 3 non-members at church brought by their friends. We received the contact info for two of them and are now officially teaching one of them! His name is Arthur and he's from North Carolina. He first learned about the church through roommates back in law school who were members of the church. SEE?! Those are seeds that you're planting people! He has come to church now for 3 straight weeks. You can tell he feels something. Our short lesson with him on Sunday opened his eyes to the new notion that this could be CHRIST'S RESTORED CHURCH. He lives in DC (out of mission boundaries) so we will meet with him before church now!
We also received another investigator this week - even MORE prepared (I think)! His name is Eric and he is from Ghana! He has a member-friend in Ghana, so that was his original connection to the church. We have another male member of the Church from Ghana so we brought him and they became fast friends! So perfect. But he has always wanted God stronger in his life and he feels that this is the right path for him to take to do that. He feels very grateful that he met us! But we're so grateful to be teaching him! The sister missionaries in the Shirlington Ward street contacted into him and he said he felt the Spirit right away. They then passed him to us because he's 36 and SINGLE. So it's absolutely amazing! He's coming to church this Sunday :)
To end on a spiritual note, Elder S. Gifford Nielson came to our mission Saturday and spoke to us! He basically told us that this mission is OUR TIME to come closer to Christ so that we can be the best future leaders of the Church that we can be! He talked about how we can know that this gospel actually promotes REAL GROWTH and that is through the ordinances we make. Each has an associated covenant IF we keep our end of the bargain by being faithful. He talked about baptism and that its covenant was "The power to remit sin". He then said "WHAT A MIRACLE!" Isn't it amazing that ANYTHING we do wrong can and will be wiped clean if we just turn to our Savior and do what He asks? It requires a good dose of humility and a lot of diligence, but I know it's possible for each and every one of us to be COMPLETELY clean before we meet our Heavenly Father and Elder Brother one day!
Use the Atonement everyday. And if you don't know how, then ask.
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers, love, and support. It means the world!
Sister Hansen
1) SNOW DAY. A few hours later, I fractured my wrist. All is well!


BIGGEST apologies for not sending an e-mail last week. It was a bit hectic and crazy, to say the least. So I hope this one makes up for it!

I hope everyone had a GREAT Christmas! I had an absolute BALL. We spent Christmas Eve caroling and going to Cheesecake Factory with a member (YUM). We ended the night acting out the nativity (out of Luke 2) with all of the sister missionaries that live in our building - HILARIOUS. I had so much fun being the shepherd. Then on Christmas, we were able to talk to our loving families and have dinner with another member and then gather as a zone to watch a Disney movie... TARZAN! Gotta love Phil Collins.
Because of the holidays, many people were out of town, but we didn't get to meet with all of our men! I would like to focus on Marvin this week because he is absolutely INCREDIBLE. I feel so blessed and honored to teach this man! We taught him a lesson at the mall (Google "Landmark Mall" in Alexandria... pretty ghetto. haha reminds me of good ol' Fairfield mall in CA :) ) and we asked if he had read Joseph Smith History, as we had assigned him. He did and he prayed about it and the most beautiful words came out of his mouth after I asked "Do you believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God?" He said, "I do. I can just feel that it's right." AH! I've been waiting my ENTIRE mission to hear those words! My heart was singing. Though I've struggled to find a non-member to receive this revelation, I'm so happy that Marvin could come to know for himself the TRUTH of the Restoration! We taught him again the next week about the Plan of Salvation, which he agrees with and is slowly taking in. He has this strong desire to do family history work, so I imagine him to be at the temple's baptismal font in NO time!
Chad is doing well! We weren't able to see him over the break, but we had two lessons with him this past week. We taught him about the Restoration, and Joseph Smith is still a pretty difficult pill for him to swallow. He has now agreed to read the Book of Mormon EVERYDAY, with sincere prayer, and to STOP reading anti-mormon material. Sister Anderson and I felt pretty strongly that if he continued to read the filth, he would NOT receive an answer. He wouldn't deserve one! These websites and books drive away the Spirit, so how can he get an answer by the Spirit if it's being driven away?! So he tells us he has stopped. I've noticed a lighter countenance about him, however, I also get the impression that he's looking into the church for dating purposes as well :/ So awkward. He has hit on multiple women that we bring to lessons, right in front of us! One woman said, "You need to put this dating thing aside and focus on the gospel. Focus on getting an answer." I'm thankful for bold members!
Lastly, Brother Garlock is MOVING! He received a job offer in North Carolina, so he should be leaving by the end of this month. He came to church for TWO WEEKS in a row (YAY), but couldn't come yesterday because of work. Hopefully with his new job, he won't have to work Sundays. We intend on passing his information to the missionaries that serve over where he will be living. He still needs some guidance and instruction! We've been teaching him about the Christ-like attributes of humility, patience, and charity. He needs to have an attitude of repentance and change (since he's got such a stubborn, vengeful demeanor), so that's why our lessons are so specific and out-of-the-ordinary. You can truly see a change though that's occurred in him even over the past 1.5 months or so that I've been here! Quite miraculous.
Although we haven't been able to find many new investigators this past week, we've been workin'! We tract nearly everyday and meet with many members. One member gave us a referral to knock on her old neighbor's door and pretend like we're "just tracting" (been there, done that :) ). Well we check one night, and she's not home. We texted our member and she said to try Saturday afternoon. So we felt like 3pm would be a good time (she kind of lives far out, in Kingstowne). We approach her complex and heard a loud ringing that sounded like it was coming from upstairs - I quickly recognized it as a fire alarm. But it wasn't coming from upstairs, it was coming from our referral's door! We see it open with smoke pluming out of it (SCARY) and found Jessica (the referral) and Tim (her boyfriend?) trying to waft it all out with some towels. After quick and hasty introductions, Sister Anderson was bold enough to say, "Here, we'll help!" She walks right in, grabs a towel, and starts wafting! So proud of her :) We stayed for about 15 minutes and helped them get it all out. Sadly, some of the walls were stained with smog, but we offered to come back and help her paint! We got to know Jessica a little bit, but could tell she was stressed. So we asked if we could come back and she said yes! MIRACLE. Please pray for her!
Sorry this e-mail is incredibly long. I guess that's what happens when I miss a week! But I'm so grateful for God being in the details of our lives. I've seen TOO many miracles in my life and on my mission to think otherwise. This leads me to be so comforted because He knows me the BEST and wants me to succeed. I've been reading a lot of conference talks lately and one that I read recently reminds me of this love God and our Savior have for us. For a few years now, I've had this little trick that I do when I have trouble focusing in my prayers. I imagine God sitting next to me and putting his shoulder lovingly around me, saying something along the lines of, "Come on, pay attention. You can do this. I'm listening." So when I heard this talk in Conference, I got SO excited. It was literally my trick come true!

Elder Terence M. Vinson in "Drawing Closer to God" says, "I believe that if we could have the privilege of walking physically with the Savior, that we would feel His arm draped over our shoulder just like that..."
So the next time you're struggling with WHATEVER, imagine an arm around your shoulder. It's there - I know it is!
Love you all so much! Thanks for all of your support and most of all, your examples!
Sister Hansen

The Nativity: Sister Missionary Style