Thursday, February 6, 2014


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

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