Wednesday, July 29, 2015

One Month Down

Hey ya'll!!! Such a good week, especially Sunday! So our investigator that we've been teaching, Elyse, came to church yesterday!! YAYYYYY!!!!! She loved it! We're going over on Tuesday and we are not leaving until she commits to a baptismal date! She is so ready! Not only did Elyse come to church, but also 6 other less active families that we've been going over and visiting! I kept getting more and more excited each time one of them walked in the door! It was a day of many miracles, to say the least. And it was a PERFECT sacrament meeting to come to, because the talks were about the importance of sacrament meeting! It was so perfect!

So I lead my first lesson on Friday! We were teaching the Coleman family. The mom is a less active, but none of her kids are members. I took the lead without even realizing it and it is so amazing how the spirit puts words into your mouth. I honestly don't even remember most of what I said because it all came from the spirit! Two of the kids have already been coming to church, but when the lesson was over the oldest boy said he wanted to come to church too. And he did!
 
So here in Oregon, everyone has a dog. Literally everyone. I was just about trampled by four dogs the other day when we went to visit a sister who had just had surgery. Luckily they're all nice dogs, but I'm just waiting for the day when we get chased out of a house haha! So when we visited Cindy the other day, her dog crawled up onto my lap, and he smelled SO BAD. He smelled like poop! And guess what? There was definitely some dog poop on my skirt when we left her house. Dog poop. ON. MY. SKIRT. Hahahaha! I can't even be mad though because it's just so funny! 
 
The sweet old lady that we visit every week, Carolyn, was baptized about a year ago. And she says the funniest things! We were at her house Saturday night and we were chatting, and out of the blue she says, "Just because you're Mormon doesn't mean you can't be sexy!" Uh, what?? Hahaha! It was so funny! My companions and I laughed it off, but Carolyn wanted a real answer! So we sat there awkwardly, and finally I said, "Well, we're missionaries, so we wouldn't know..." It was so hilarious hahaha!
 
Today we had sister's pday!! Sister's pday is when all the sisters in the zone get together and do something fun! So today we went hiking in the lava caves! The sister training leaders brought all of us glow sticks to make it even more fun! Once we were down in the cave, each set of companionships had prepared a musical number to sing. My companions and I sang Love One Another. As soon as the singing started, the spirit was instantly there. We had all of our lights off and it was so peaceful to just sit there in the dark and be surrounded by the music. 
 
I love missionary work, and I love the gospel! And I love and miss all of you! Only 17 more months to go! Woo!

Love,
Sister Hanna
 

 
 
 

"greenie" package

 
 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Everyday is Awkward!

I'm not gonna sugar coat it. Every day is awkward. But in a good way! It gives me the strangest feeling, talking to strangers about Jesus. But it is so much fun! It's actually a huge adrenaline rush, talking to people and not knowing whether or not that they're going to reject you. We went to the house of a less active family the other day, and they completely rejected us. At first I wanted to cry, and then scream, but then I just wanted to laugh! I just want to smack them upside the head with a Book of Mormon and be like "Get it together! You know this stuff is true! What's wrong with you?" But we're not allowed to do that, so we just have to smile and walk away, haha. But the thing about rejection is that it's okay if you get rejected, because no effort is wasted. Just talking to them and letting them know that we love them and that they're Heavenly Father loves them is enough to plant a seed that future missionaries can continue to water and grow.

So my companions and I had an AWESOME lesson with this lady named Elyse. We taught her the Plan of Salvation, and she completely understood what we were teaching her, and she told us that it answered so many of her questions. She's still praying about the Book of Mormon, but she told us that she feels good about it. We're going to try to commit her to baptism this week! She is so ready to receive the gospel, and I am so excited for her! Also, she's the manager of the Best Western here in town, and she said if we give her a box of Book of Mormons, she'll put them in every room right next to the Bibles that are in the night stand drawers! She's the best haha. 
 
We also had a lesson with a lady named Cindy. She was baptized about a year ago, but she isn't coming to church because of some health issues. She's also just struggling with life, and my heart just goes out to her. We watched The Restoration with her, and the spirit that was brought into the room was incredible! We started talking about her trials and her challenges, so I shared with her D&C122:7 and told her that all her troubles will pass, and that she can find her strength through the Savior. Everybody was crying! I find myself doing that a lot. Crying. It's kind of annoying how much I cry, but it's also great because that means the spirit is there!
 
So it finally happened. I had someone ask me "You're from Arizona, why are you not tan?" I'm sorry, please excuse my whiteness. But it was actually really funny, and I laughed about it the rest of the night!
 
I have homework for all of you! Read the The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The world is becoming so wicked and the value of families is basically nonexistent nowadays. Read it, and remember how important it is to love and cherish your family!
 
So last night, bishop had us speak at a youth fireside about missionary work. My companions and I, and two returned missionaries spoke. I talked about my mission preparation and gave my testimony about the temple. The temple is the best place in the world!!! GO TO THE TEMPLE! I cried, of course, when I bore my testimony about the temple. I'm so sad that I only get to go twice a year, but I am also so grateful for my mission president and his decision to take all the missionaries to the temple during general conference. 
 
Another cool experience I had this week was when we went and taught Sister Alvarado. She lives in the nursing home and is less active because her health prevents her from going. But we planned to teach her about Individual worth, and while we were driving there I had the prompting that we should play her the song, Beautiful to Him. The song is about not following the world's standards, but seeing yourself through God's eyes and recognizing the beauty that He see's within us. Anyways, she loved it! It was the most spiritual part of the whole lesson! Moral of the story, if you have a prompting, follow it! And if you ever doubt that a prompting you receive isn't a prompting, it is most definitely a prompting. Satan is always trying to get into your head, and he does everything he can to try and prevent you from following to the Spirit. 
 
The closest place to LaPine with missionaries is in Bend, which is about 45 minutes from here. We have district meeting every Friday in Bend, so we drive down there and get to see all the other missionaries in my district. But other than that, we don't see other missionaries. I'm in a trio because when the new group of 24 missionaries (me) flew in two weeks ago, it created an odd number of sisters. So they put us in a trio. So my next transfer I'll just be in a companionship. There are 34 new missionaries flying in next transfer! There are so many new missionaries because all of the original Oregon Salem missionaries are going home. OSM has only been a mission since 2013, so there's a lot of people going home. There's 3 grocery stores here in LaPine, and one of them is pretty much the same thing as a Fry's. But it's small town so everything is expensive. There's a Target and a Walmart in Bend, but we can only go there every now and then because the drive uses up to many miles on the Jeep. We're only allowed 1700 miles a month. But our area is so big that it's not a big deal if we go over our mileage. We just have to make sure that we're trying to stay within our limit. There's a Subway and a Taco Bell haha. And then some other family owned places to eat.
 
I love and miss all of you! Read you scriptures and pray everyday! A scripture a day keeps the devil away!

Love,
Sister Hanna


A member knitted these socks for them
 

Monday, July 13, 2015

I'm in the Middle of Nowhere!

Heyooo!

I made it to Oregon! We had to wake up at 2:15 am in order to leave the MTC by 3:35am. They bused us to the train and we had to load hundreds of suitcases on the train within five minutes. Then we had to unload and board the light rail to get to the airport. It was cray cray.
 
Oregon is awesome! IT'S SO GREEN! When president picked us up from the airport, he took us to the beach, where we could see the 4th largest haystack in the world! It's what our mission is based off of. "Build Upon the Rock!" 
 
So I was assigned to a trio! Sister Anthony and Sister Henry. Sister Henry can do the GREATEST impressions ever! She's mastered the Gollum and the Dobby voice. She can also beat box and rap, so she's basically the coolest. The area I am assigned to is called LaPine, and it's three and a half hours away from the mission home, and it's a tiny town haha. There are pine trees everywhere! Hence, Lapine haha. Apparently Lapine is consdiered "high desert." But it's green and we are surrounded by pine trees. If you want to see desert, go to AZ haha, becasue I feel like I'm camping. It's been in the 60s and 70s!! I haven't sweat a drop since leaving the MTC! It is so nice! 
 
So the majority of the people here are old folks. Everyone we've gone and visited since being here have been old, and a little bit crazy! But they are hilarious and awesome! I already love the people so much! And guess what!? On two separate appointments, I had people tell me I was glowing! When I would say something or bear my testimony they would cut me off and say I was glowing and that they could see it in my eyes. Talk about a confidence booster! 
 
The bishop is awesome! We have companion prayer with him every night over the phone, and we even have keys to his house! And the night I got here he came over to the apartment and welcomed me. 
 
So apparently we have the nicest apartment in the mission? It's two story and there's so much space, which is good since there's three of us. And we have a washer and dryer! I was praying so hard that I wouldn't have to go to a laundromat haha. 
 
So I have no idea how to shop for food for myself. That'll be an adventure!
 
So I heard this great quote from Sister Anthony. "Good, better, best. Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better best." How awesome! Never give up, always strive to be better, endure to the end! Also a great scripture that I've really come to love is 2 Nephi 31:20. Read it. It's fantastic. 
I have so much more to say but so little time! I miss and love you all! 

Love, 
Sister Hanna
 
These first 2 pics are from the MTC
 


July 4th at the MTC

Haystack Rock in Oregon

A member gave them this coke. She didn't say if they drank it.
 
 
I felt like her email was short today. I really wanted more! Is a day by day recount of all her doings too much to ask for? Probably :( I just love hearing from her and it always leaves me wanting more. I should probably be happy I got an email at all. I've joined a "missionary mamma" group on Facebook and it seems like a lot of missionaries don't email every week. I would die if I didn't get one! So I'll be satisfied with every word she sends me!
 
Here's her current address:
 
16590 William Foss Rd
P.O. Box 422
LaPine, OR 97739
 
You can still send to the mission home but she'll get it a couple days sooner if you use this address.
 

Friday, July 10, 2015

She made it to Oregon!

Haley flew to Oregon on Wednesday. She was with a group of about 20 new missionaries. Upon arrival, her mission president and his wife, President and Sister Samuelian, picked them up and took them to the Portland Temple. Then they took them to the "Rock" where they received their first words of instruction and inspiration. Their mission statement is "Build Upon the Rock" and they focus on D&C 6:34 "Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail." What a wonderful and sweet experience I'm sure this was!




President and Sister Samuelian
 
Haystack Rock




This is the back of her head!
 
 
She has been assigned to the LaPine Ward and her first Companions and Trainers are Sister Henry from Provo, UT and Sister Anthony from Vancouver, WA. And I just realized as I was typing this that all three of them have first names as last names, haha! LaPine is a small area with a population of only 1700 people. It's a good thing it's summer right now because it's one of the coldest areas in the mission. She still might have to buy some type of jacket. It gets chilly in the evenings and all she took were light cardigans. The average high in July is 82 and the average low is 46. Today in LaPine the high is only 73 degrees and it's overcast and rainy! I'M SO JEALOUS!!!
 


Monday, July 6, 2015

Last email from the MTC!

The last paragraph of this is a little bit embarrassing, you wouldn't think sister missionaries would act like this. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with four brothers! I wonder what Sister Rasmussen's excuse is?!?

My dearest family!

This week has flown by! I can't believe that I'm already leaving next week! The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days! I'm nervous to leave the safety bubble of the MTC, but I am so excited to get to Oregon! Remember how I said there were general authorities here?? We saw Uchtdorf! We were waiting to cross the street back to the MTC after our temple walk, but for some reason security wouldn't let us back on campus. It was because Elder Uchtdorf was exiting! He pulled out and rolled down his window and waved at all of us! I SAW HIS FACE! It was so incredible. And the car right behind him?? THOMAS S. MONSON! He didn't roll down his window though. So rude. It was funny though because security wouldn't let us come back until they were gone. Can you imagine though?? All these missionaries swarming to meet the prophet, that would've been hilarious.
Also, Elder Christensen, one of the missionaries from The District videos, works here at the MTC! It's like seeing a celebrity.
 
So this week we started teaching our TRC investigators, which is when investigators of the church come in and we teach them. My investigator's name is Lucia. It has been so incredible to teach her! So far we have gotten her to pray and read the BOM!!!! The spirit is so strong in those lessons and she is so willing to learn. And I just KNOW that the spirit is testifying to her. After the lesson where she said the closing prayer, Sister Rasmussen and I gave each other the loudest high five and practically jumped up and down the hallway we were so excited!! People were staring at us but we didn't care! It was such a spiritual high and I will never forget that first experience. 
 
So the Provo temple is closed for cleaning, so my district doesn't get to attend a session. I'm super bummed. But we still get to take walks up there and walk around the grounds! It is a beautiful temple!
 
So since all the general authorities are gone, we get to eat in the cafeteria! It is massive! And you are literally allowed to eat as much as you want, and the food is sooooo good. Speaking of food, they fed us Cafe Rio last week!! Literally everybody lost their minds we were so excited to eat that day.
 
So I got the package yesterday! I was actually starting to get super bummed because I was the only missionary in my district who hadn't gotten mail yet. But then my district leader gave me two package slips! I practically ran to the mail room I was so excited! It was well worth the wait. The Second package was from Belinda! There's a bakery in Orem that will make fresh deliveries to the MTC! So she sent me some cupcakes and they were yummyyyyyyyy! 
 
Today we were finally able to do some laundry! I have never been so happy to have clean clothes haha. But it was madness in the laundry room. So many people. And someone stole my cart that had all my hangers on it! I was so unbelievably mad. I stomped around the laundry room until I found them (and Elder had them) and I just took them and walked away. But seriously, of all the things to be mad about, it was hangers. I'm over it now haha.
 
My district is AWESOME! I love them so much! A few of the Elders remind me of the boys, so I feel right at home. And we all have nicknames for each other! I'm Sister Hanna Banana (everyone is amazed that I have a first name for a last name, go figure haha). Sister Rasmussen is Sister Sassmussenm (cause she's super sassy). Sister Van Quill is Sister Night Quill, cause she's always falling asleep. Sister Ramsay is Sister Pansy. She's not a pansy, it just rhymed. Elder Pickett is Elder Pickett Fence, Elder Schofield is Elder Jim, because he looks like Jim from The Office. And Elder Carlisle is Elder Carlizzle. We don't have names for the other Elders yet, but we're working on it.
 
So I room right next to some Asian sisters, and the way they pronounce sisters sounds like Seesters. So, the sisters and I call each other Seesters, and we do it so much that the Elders started to call us that too. And then it spread to the other district in our zone, and now all you can hear up and down the hallways is "seester seester seester!" It's fantastic.
 
So on Sunday nights we have general authority devotionals. This past Sunday, Elder Sitati of the seventy came and spoke to us. One of the things he taught us that in our companionships, we will learn to develop Christlike attributes. And I had never thought about it like that before. Humility, patience, love, charity, all that good stuff will come from being in a companionship. It was so cool to hear him speak! Also, my district and I sang in the missionary choir that night! It's made up of volunteers, so there were about 600 missionaries singing for Elder Sitati. The music was so powerful and the spirit was so strong! I am so grateful that I was able to experience that. 
 
So my flight on Wednesday leaves at 8:30am, so I'll probably be calling around 5:30 6am AZ time. I know that's early, but like Elder Bednar said, get over yourself. And I bought a phone card here at the MTC, they recommend it. (Should've listened to you, mom.) It was super cheap in the bookstore, so that was good. And since I leave on a Wdnsday and pdays in the field are on Mondays, you won't get another email for about 10 days. *sad tears*
 
So remember that one youtube video, Breaking the Barrier? The one about farting?? So I told my companion about that video and she LOVED IT! We "CUP-O-CHEESE!" each other all the time!! 
I love you guys so much and I miss you! Have so much fun at the cabin up in the nice cool weather! 

Hugs and kisses.
Sister Hanna

P.S. My zone has a thing where we shout to each other OFA-ATU! It means I love you in Tongan or something. So, OFA-ATU! Love you!

P.P.S. The Mexican food here stinks! Send me a burrito! 
 
 


 
Elder Carlisle is on the right. He's a big dork, he reminds her of Jacob.

 

 
They're all going to Salem!