Thursday, May 29, 2014

Staying here

HERMANA RASMUSSEN AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER ANOTHER CHANGE! We were actually really surprised to find that out, I was sure I was leaving so there would be another training sister leader to stay for the arrival and first part of the new mission president's arrival but I'm excited that I'm supposed to stay here with her. On Sunday, Feliciana was confirmed and she is just beautiful inside and out. And she absolutely LOVES her Book of Mormon...when they called her to the front to get confirmed, she started walking but then turned back to grab her Book of Mormon to bring it up with her. I don't think I have seen her without it in her really is just beautiful.
We met a family up in Puerto Rico, where Feliciana lives. They had a baby recently that is super sick...They have to use ounces to weigh him because he is so light and weak. The mother takes the bus to the hospital every day to be able to nurse him and the father just pleads for his son in his prayers. We had a second lesson with them and we shared the first part of the Plan of Salvation...on the back of their pamphlet we drew a little map of how to get to the church because they don't have a cell phone and weren't sure if they could was so beautiful to see this little family with their two little girls all dressed in corte walk into the church. He had his Plan of Salvation pamphlet in his hand, just holding it during the sacrament meeting and listening to the talks. I love this message because it can give everything to a family that feels that they have nothing. It gives the hope and it gives the grace and it gives the happiness. And I know it is true.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Singing at the door

I love the little lessons that I learn daily in my mission. For example, last week we were teaching Feliciana before her baptism and I said, "Hey, we should find a favorite hymn for you...." And she said, "I already have one. It's 157...´Count Your Blessings¨." It's beautiful to see the hope and optimism people receive in the gospel. Her baptism was literally perfect and she was so only 2 weeks, she completely changed her life and was able to find out who she really was; a daughter of God with a future as bright as her faith.

Another small miracle was a family that we found while waiting for some missionaries to get to our area to start divisions. They were a door contact and we just taught a simple scripture about God's love. We invited them to church and they accepted but we weren't really too impressed with their enthusiasm until a conference we had on Saturday afternoon. A member pulled us aside and told us how we had taught one of her friends...she said, "She came to my house and asked if I was a Mormon. She said the message touched her and that all the grandkids bathed on Saturday and will be ready for church tomorrow." We picked them up on Sunday morning and the two grandparents attended. Unfortunately, the grandkids weren't able to come but they had the desire. We passed by later on Sunday and they were locked in their house because the mom had left for some errands. We decided to slip our little hymn books under the door and sing "I am a Child of God" with them. We sang and then we were about to leave again and then they asked us to sing another hymn, we slip the hymnbooks under the door again and one of their little voices said, "I want to sing ´I Am a Child of God´'s on page 196!" We taught them "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" but after we sang it, they all said, "We want ´I Am a Child of God´ again!" It was something so little but it amazed me how strongly the children here want to learn of Christ here. There is a little girl who was baptized about a year and a half ago in our ward...she has 10 years and lives with her grandma, who isn't a member. She lives across a highway and about 15 minutes from the chapel but she walks every single week, alone, to the church. She always sits by us because she is shy and doesn't really have many friends. It's amazing to see the desire she has in her actions. I always like the scriptures that refer to becoming children again...children have the desire and are humble enough to look unto Him. I hope I can be more like the children here in Guatemala!

Also, funnnny story. We came back from church on Sunday to make lunch and there was a little baby rat right by our front door. The member who we live with asked us why we paused and I said, "Well...there's a baby rat...and if there is one baby rat..." And she quietly responded, "There is a mom...and more baby rats." She yelled for her husband and then disappeared for a minute and then came back with a broom. She asked, "Is it dead?" We said no and then she came up with the broom and said, "Well now it's about to die...on the sabbath day!" It was really funny watching this wife of the stake president´s first counselor kill this baby rat in her high heels and her broom. I love Guatemala. Until next week!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bringing a light . . .

                                Skyping for mothers day with our beautiful missionary daughter

I have heard that Guatemala is very, very beautiful and I believed it from all the people that I have met. But this week I was able to see the geographical beauty. We had divisions with San Lucas Toliman and it was my turn to go, but unfortunately it was pouring rain all afternoon and the ride there was super cloudy. But in the morning, on the way back, I was able to see the prettiest views of my life. To get tro Toliman, one has to take a bus, then a microbus, then a pickup truck with a bar in the bed of it to hold on to. It was a clear morning and I was pretty excited to start the journey back with the pick up truck. It drove through on an old gravel road with thick forests lined with corn and other crops seperating different pueblos. Every once in a while, there was a break in the trees to be able to see the waters Panajachel. (Lake Atitlan) The lake was so clear and so still that it matched the sky...if it hadn't been for the volcanoes separating the water from the sky, it would've looked like the heavens never ended. I turned to the man next to me and said, "After seeing that, it really demonstrates to us that there is a God, huh?" He just paused for a minute and said, "Yes, yes there is." We were then able to share a little bit about the gospel with him. I love little moments like that as a missionary...There are always opportunities to testify of our message...there aren't missionaries that live in his area and there's a very small chance of ever seeing him again but we never know how a simple testimony can impact a life.

Another moment I loved was bringing Feliciana to stake conference. When Hermana Brough got up and started to testify, Feliciana was on the edge of her seat, trying her best to listen. With the power and spirit of her testimony, Feliciana loved hearing her speak. It made me think of how my own mother will have the same calling soon. Feliciana barely even speaks Spanish, and it would be even more difficult understanding two North Americans teaching her...but she has understand every word and continues to understand as she prepares for her baptism this Sunday. The grammer and pronunciation don't have to be perfect to share a perfect message...the spirit is what these people need to become converted, not convinced. When we went to visit her, she kept telling us, "I was with my mom this weekend. I just kept telling her that this is the church of Christ, and that the Book of Mormon is true and that this changes lives. I want her to see it for herself but there isn't a chapel where she lives, but at least she knows now that this is a true message." She is someone who isn't convinced with words, she is converted with the spirit. I am so happy that we were able to find her.

We also found a random man on the street, pushing his bike. We just talked to him and asked him if we could sing to him. He agreed and we sang and shared a scripture with him. It was probably the first man that I've talked to here that said he didn't believe in God...but after our short message, we realized that it was just events that has happened in his life that caused anger at God, no an actual unbelief in God. And after more than 15 years of not praying, he agreed to end our short message with a sincere, short prayer. We challenged him to be baptized on May 1 and he accepted, recognizing all the changes that he will have to make and willing to do them. I love teaching this message to people who sometimes have money or no family or no job or no house...or sometimes no brings a light in their life that fills to the corners of every desire. This is a true message! Until next week...Hermana Hansen

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The woman of quiche (aka the quiche woman :)

The story of the woman of quiche (Feliciana) that I shared last week is continuing to be a miracle. SHE CAME TO CHURCH ON SUNDAY. I was a little surprised because she wasn't in her house for the scheduled date for our second visit and she doesn't have a telephone...but she either traveled the hour walk to the chapel or sacrificed paying for a bus. She was early, with her "Restoration" pamphlet and a hymn book her member friend had given her sticking out of her purse. I am not sure how much Spanish she understood during the small talk of the members or during the reunions...but she felt the spirit. After pointing to the painting of Christ coming to the Nephites, I asked how she felt and she said, "I feel...happy...and very satisfied." We walked to her house in the afternoon and after arriving, we again pulled out the gospel art book and showed her the picture of the first vision. We asked her, "Do you remember what was happening in this moment?" She replied, "Well, this was when Joseph was praying to find out the truth...and the Father and the Son appeared to him and Christ responded to his question....I know he was a prophet, I know and feel that this is real." I just paused and I looked at my companion to respond since I was holding back tears...but we both just had to pause. We then explained the Book of Mormon and the word of wisdom, she accepted them both and was already living the word of wisdom as well as the law of chastity. We challenged her to be baptized on the 18 of May and she simply responded, "Si, con mucho gusto." She then told us how her 7 year old son would be moving back to live with her in October (she is separated from her husband and lives alone...and the sons takes turns living with each parent), and she explained her own excitement that she would be able to take him to church also. Her friend on the bus proved to be right on all accounts, she truly needed this message.

We also contacted a family in the street and the husband said, "Oh you were Hermana Coleman's companion!" I was a little confused how he remembered her name, and they remembered her just because she had contacted them one day in the street. They told us that they wanted us to pass by for them and we set an appointment. When we arrived, the wife was telling us the reason why they remembered us. She said how the Jehovah witnesses had passed by for them...but they didn't feel too right about it. Then another church passed by...and they didn't feel right about them either. She then said, "I was looking for the truth and many people have tried to help me. Then you guys talked to me in the street...and I turned to my husband and said, ´Now there is the message I want to hear...they are different from the others.´" We explained the first lesson and she committed to pray to see if it is true, when we returned and asked if she had done it, she told us that she wants to believe and that she is praying to know for herself if it is true.

I am proud to have a message that is different than all the others, I am proud to be here in Guatemala with a plaque that shows to the world who we are; missionaries of Christ preaching His gospel. I am proud to sing on buses and walk miles in the sun to be able to peach His gospel. I am proud that my parents and family are examples to me of who I can become. I am proud to be a daughter of God! Hasta la proxima semana..