Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A bus, a song, an old man and miracles in Quiche

Another week of miracles! We were taking a bus to San Lucas and when Hermana Haymond and Hermana Godfrey were in their training, we made up a song to the tune of "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ", sometimes I still sing it to contact the buses. After I finished the contact, we were contacting seat by seat and a little old man just looked at me and said, "Que valor!" He was a member and wanted us to pass by for somebody that he knew. He lives very far away from the main part of our area but after confirming that it was on our side of the border, we made an appointment to go meet him and his reference. We had to set aside a whole afternoon to be able to make this appointment but we both felt that it was absolutely necessary. Luckily, we were able to travel and find him, with his straw hat and old work clothes working hard in a flower field... and he then presented us to his friend. He said, "I know this is far away...but I was far away when the missionaries came and found me also." He explained how he was baptized and how his children served missions and were married in the temple and now his grandchildren are receiving their mission calls...he then said, "So I know exactly why you guys are here. She doesn't speak Spanish very well (she speaks Quiche') so it will be hard to teach her, but she needs this message." We presented ourselves to her but she kept nervously laughing and didn't really understand us...at all. I pulled out my gospel art book, ready to try to explain the restoration in a very simple way...and then the miracle happened. After the opening prayer, she was able to understand every single word that we said. We were able to explain our message completely and it was one of the most powerful lessons that we have had. She accepted another visit and accepted the challenge to be baptized. The spirit really does help us understand this gospel in exactly the way that we need it. It helped her and it can also help us in our lives. Although she couldn't understand Spanish, she understood the love of God and the need for this gospel. I feel honored to be able to be a missionary and have the opportunity to share such a powerful message.
Another miracle that we saw was a contact on the street...who asked us when he could be baptized. He is an old widow who lives alone and has a desire to follow Christ. We passed by his house later that night and taught the first lesson...and the next day when we were waiting for him at church, he didn't show up. We passed by his house that night and immediately when he opened up the door, we could sense that he had been drinking alcohol. He told us how he was invited to a lunch and how they offered him drinks...the first time we met him, he was wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. This time, he was wearing them again but we figured out why. When he told us about his drinking, he just paused and took off his sunglasses and said, "So many pastors have come to my house but I just cry." His eyes were absent of light and happiness. He explained how he wants to follow Christ but how he keeps falling into temptation. Every time he picks himself up, he falls more and more into a deep loneliness. Since he was a little bit tipsy, we just decided to sing a hymn and pass by the next day to be able to visit him in a clearer state. We sang, "Lead Kindly Light", which has become my favorite hymn these last couple of weeks. He simply told us, "You guys are wasting your time by visiting me. I've tried to change but it has never worked. I don't want you to waste your time." I learned something this Sunday from this simple lesson...we never waste our time by helping someone come unto Christ. I know that this man needs the gospel, now more than ever. Patience pays a true part of faith and He will never give up on us, so we can never give up on His children. We will keep teaching this man, because this message is the answer he hasn't ever realized that he has been waiting for. Hasta la proxima semana!

Friday, April 25, 2014

My new sleep talking companion

My new companion

I am missing Hermana C but I am super excited about me new companion, we're already super good friends. She is from Las Vegas and is probably the most consecrated missionary that I know...so much that she sleep talks about lessons every night. This week, I woke up to her sleep talking in Spanish saying, "Okay, let's finish with a kneeling prayer." (She then got out of her bed and kneeled down on the floor...) She then said, "Okay, Hermana...will you say the prayer?" I then replied, "Well...I can't." She was really confused and woke up and said, "Hermana Hansen? What time is it? Did I finally sleep through the night without waking up?" She was pretty excited for a second because it would've been the first night without waking herself up sleep talking...but it was only 2 45 in the morning haha.
We have been teaching some really positive people. They family that attended for General Conference was progressing very well. We went to their house and the dad told us, "Did you get my call last night? I was hoping you two would come and teach us and so I looked for a coin and then went out to find a pay phone last night." They wanted to get baptized and everything was running really smoothly...until we found out that they aren't lawfully married. They had told us the first lesson that they were...but the wife has a husband in Esquintla. They seperated and her husband refuses to divorce her and so she is unable to get married to Cristobal and they are unable to be baptized until they are married. This is a pretty common occurence here because divorces usually cost a lot more than weddings and they agree to seperate, but never legally sign anything. It was a little sad to find that out when their baptism was coming up, but I know that they will continue to progress in this waiting period of time.
loving the children

I thought I loved my mission, but it just seems to get better every single day. I have learned to permit myself to just be open to learning about everyone and everything, to listening to every story that these people have had...to hearing their testimony and struggles. I reflected a little bit hitting this 14 month mark and I can honestly say that, before my mission I knew Christ as the son of God...and now I know Him as my Savior. I'll be honest, my body has been a little tired sometimes this last change...but I have found strength from sources that I wasn't even aware were available. The Atonement empowers us, He knows us and we can do all things in Him. I would like to think I've worked my hardest my whole mission, but there are always things we can get better on. But I want to give Him another gift...during Christmas, I wanted to give Him my mind so that I could be consecrated. But now I want to give Him my heart, I want to get totally lost in this work so that I can complete finding every person that I promised I would find. The time is short...a year and a half is short...but I know that every minute is a gift, the mission is a gift.
Evidently Guatemalas do not smile for pictures - - - UNLESS Hermana Hansen makes them!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Protected AGAIN! The disappearing street :) (sorry this is from last week - I was out of town)

The mission is seeming more and more like precious time. With my companion, Hermana Coleman, going home this week...it's been a real learning period for me these last six weeks. And seeing the date that I will be flying home...it impacted me pretty strongly this morning. It seems a lot closer than I would want it to be, but just like I accepted to come on a mission, I must accept the next step. But I am thankful that I have a few more months here in Guatemala.
I am thankful for the protection that we have here. This week, we were headed towards a lesson in the night time. There is a connecting little calle between the main road and the street with the family we were going to go visit. Everything seemed normal as we walked along the main road towards the little street to take a shortcut...soon enough, I realized we had passed it as we were talking with people in the street. We turned around and started to walk the other way in order to find the street. We were talking again and soon realized that we went too far in the other direction. A woman seemed to be a little startled to see us in the night walking and told us that we needed to be more careful. We thanked her and returned to look for the connecting street. Another person stopped us and told us that we shouldn't be walking in that direction because of robbers and gangs in the night. I was a little confused at the reason why we could not find the street to cut across...we walked back and forth about four times on the main road but something distracted us each time we passed the small connecting road. We decided to walk along the road to look for the road again and then one more person told us to be careful...we then both felt very impressed to leave immediately and take the long way back home instead of cutting across through the connecting street. I don't know what would have happened if we cut through it...but I know that we have been protected very often these last couple weeks. 

I am also thankful for the opportunity to have divisions with the sisters. We have had 13 divisions in 5 weeks and it gets pretty busy always leaving my area but it's a huge learning experience to be able to work with all the other missionaries. I was working this week in San Lucas and we were able to have a family night with a young adult that has attended church a few times now. We challenged him to get baptized on Sunday but he had something impeding him...oftentimes we are scared to do something because we are afraid that we will fall after we attempt to do it, which was one of his fears because of his past. I learned something as we were trying to help him...God will never invite us to do something that He knows we can't complete. We had him pray in the lesson to ask if her should be baptized on Sunday...it was the most sincere prayer that I have ever heard. After the prayer, he just paused and told us of the joy he felt...but he was still a little hesitant about being baptized on Sunday. We explained that he had just recieved an answer but we invited him to pray again in the night alone and told him that we would call in the morning for a final answer. During our morning studies, the missionary that I was with called him to ask how his prayer went and to see if he would be baptized on Sunday. From the phone call I heard was, "Did you pray last night? ....And how did you feel? (and then a loooooong pause and then I heard, "So...would you prefer it on 5 on Sunday?" And she just looked up at me with the biggest smile. It's so amazing to travel to different areas and see the progress of people coming unto Christ. I love the mission!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


I'll be pretty honest, these last couple weeks have been very trying. We had a baptism planned for the last week of February of a teenage girl, Abi, who lives with her aunt (her mom hadn't seen her for 7 years and communicates with her through facebook. We had to contact her to get her consent and she willing gave permission so that her daughter could be baptized.) The day of the baptism, the electricity went out in the chapel..and we were not able to fill the baptismal font. The family and the bishop preferred to wait until Saturday to have the baptism instead of finding other ways to fill the font...the day after, the teenager's mother called from the US to tell her that she no longer would give consent to having her daughter baptized. We are still trying to help her so she can make the choice when she turns 18, and we are still praying that somehow the mom's heart will be softened.
Our other investigator, Jeni, who had attended four times and was progressing is M.I.A. We heard she went to the coast and we haven't been able to teach her for a while. We had a few others that were coming to church but not with real intent...so we had to start again to look for more positive people and we found almost 100 new investigators in just a couple weeks...but nobody seemed to be progressing. And then we only had 1 person in church. Conference was coming up and we were praying to be able to find people to invite to it...

One investigator couldn't leave her house because she was locked in without keys...another investigator couldn't leave because she would miss the water when it came by...everyone seemed to have an excuse after they promised they would come. One of our investigators couldn't go because his pig was pregnant and past due date...and I actually prayed that the pig would have its baby quickly so that they could come.

On Saturday morning...nobody came to conference.
On Saturday afternoon...nobody came to conference.
On Sunday morning...nobody came to conference.
We walked a total of about 18 miles to bring our investigators (I like using the pedometer my mom sent) but everybody seemed to have excuses. But for some reason, we were calm about it.

Earlier in the week, I had an impression to go visit a woman named Hermana Paz. Her husband isn't a member...but is pretty harsh in his lack of desire to learn more. I brushed off the impression thinking it was to go see her husband with a little of hesitation at the annoyance he feels when members of the church stop by...but then it came again. We went out of our way to go visit her and we found her talking to her friend in the street. We introduced ourselves and shared a quick scripture with her and invited her to conference. On Saturday, we passed by her house to invite her again but she had left to run chores...but her son had commented that they might be able to come tomorrow. They were the last people on our list to pass by for the Sunday afternoon General Conference and when we knocked on their door, his wife, was standing their with a clean face and brushed hair and a red dress and wornout shoes on placed on her feet. She was ready for us to come pick her up. Her husband was also ready witha button up shirt and dress pants. And the little old widow we found in the street was also ready to come with us. The three came to conference with us and after greeting the bishop at the end of the session, informed him that they would be attending church with us the next week also.
On Sunday afternoon...we had 5 attending.
I learned a lot from these weeks. We were working harder than we ever had, waking up every day at 5 and talking to everyone...but we weren't seeing any immediate progress. A few weeks is pretty immediate for blessings to come, but sometimes in life we have to wait a while before we are able to see the blessings. I know that even though I was working diligently and urgently, it wasn't part of my timing at all. It's His timing and sometimes blessings come quickly, others more delayed and the best will come after this life. I am grateful for the weeks and slower progress with harder work just like I will be grateful in my life with slower years and harder work...He is always with us.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Old Friends

Ruins at Ixmiche

P-day - at Ixmiche

Lamanite hands

Soy un hijo de Dios

I can't even start on the miracles that we see every day...when I start thinking about them, even more come! I'll tell a simple one today...on Sunday, we were out with a member and our appointments fell through. We asked her if they were any inactive members that lived close that we could go visit with her and she brought us up a long alley way to a a huge tin door. An old woman answered it and she had a son behind her doing some kind of yard work. When we asked to share a message with them, they weren't really receptive...at all. And when we asked the son if he was a member, he denied it and said he didn't know anything about the church. We felt and knew that he knew exactly who we are but he didn't really want to listen to us...and we asked if we could just sing a song with them before we left. We turned to page 196, "Soy un hijo de dios" and sang it for them. After we sang, he was just crossing his arms and scratching his head a little bit. After a long pause, he just looked at us and started walking back and forth scratching his head and questioning us all about the need for a restoration and another prophet and apostles. It was amazing to see how this song reminded him and softened him enough to listen. Every time he asked us a question, he just looked at us and smiled with his two or three teeth and then started walking again asking questions. It was so amazing to be able to teach him again about the Restoration and they should be coming to General Conference this weekend. I strongly believe that reminding somebody of the truth is just as important as bringing somebody to it.
This Sunday was a pretty rough one because we only had 1 investigator in church...and a couple weeks ago we had 8. But surprisingly, it didn't take us down too much. I know that the trials always come before the blessings...and I know that faith, patience, and diligence will get us though all.

We gave another talk in Sacrament Meeting (missionaries seem to have the privilege to give many talks ha) but this time I was supposed to talk for 10 minutes about the obra misional! I decided to take a different outlook on it and categorized the missionary work into three different parts. First, to listen. Second, to recieve a testimony. Third, to share it. I used the example of the wise men in Lucas...how they first saw the angel...and then they ran to go see the new baby...and then they shared it with everyone that they could. I related it to Alma the younger of how his dad had taught him and with his dad's words echoing in the back of his mind, he was able to finally repent later on and recieve his own testimony of Christ...and then he spent all his days sharing it. And then I finished with the Joseph Smith story. It really stuck me when I realized how if we never share our testimony, we never give others the opportunity to hear it. Sometimes, we get a little down when we can't see immediate results of our missionary efforts. But by planting the seed, it will be able to grow in the right timing. Alma the younger didn't believe his father right away, but he was able to remember his words in the necessary timing (Alma 36:17). When we share our message, we help people on their first step.
And I'll just end by repeating the words of our bishop real quick..."When you watch conference, there are a lot of men over the age of 80. And none of them fall asleep during the sessions...so you guys can't either." Hahaha. I'm happy I'm a missionary and I'm happy I'm a Hansen and I'm happy that I feel part Guatemalan...these people are special here. They have taught me who I want to work towards becoming in my life. I'll see you guys next week