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Hi,
So, its not p-day, but we missed emailing yesterday.  We are doing
well here.  I am thinking I only have 2 more weeks left in seosan and
then I get to say goodbye to my greenie area.  I am supposed to set up
a time to call for mothers day… so when is good for you? I think you
are supposed to call me too.  So… yeah.

Last week I said we were going to the beach and when we actually met
with the member that was going us, she drove us to the house she grew
up in which is by the beach, but not at the beach.  So, yeah we went
to a farm last week and it was great. Yesterday we went to cheonan and
met up with the rest of the zone.  It was SO fun.  We rode bikes and
then went to the bath houses. Then when we got back we went to eat
dinner at a members and didn’t get to write… so sorry.

Something i am grateful for:  The weather is finally beautiful here in
Seosan and I don’t have to wear my winter coat anymore.

Something I have been thinking about: I have been thinking a lot about
how the Lord doesn’t give us any  challenge that we aren’t capable of
dealing with.  There is a lot that I have faced since being here that
I didn’t think that I could really do.  Its funny how different our
views of our own limits are so different from the Lord’s views of our
limits.  Especially when we gain companionship with him… that is,
when our will truly meets his and your intentions and motives change
from being selfishly motivated to just seeking to help others or just
trying to be a good disciple of Christ.  I have seen this in so many
missionaries in the field.  I don’t know when it happens but with some
of the older missionaries, it is just so apparent that their hearts
have truly changed.  I feel like it is so easy to be selfish as a
young missionary that can’t really do much yet.  It is easy to get
caught up in how much you don’t know or how inadequate you really are.
 It is something that I have struggled with a little bit.  But,
something a greenie in my area has taught me is that it doesn’t matter
how much you know at all. Yes, we need to be able to speak the
language, but it is more about who you are that what you say.
Something that has had a profound impact on me since I have been here,
is that people can love other people without speaking the same
language.  When I first got here, I saw it in my companion and in our
investigators.  Now, as I am still struggling with the language, no
matter how badly I mess up, people can still feel that there is
something different about our message and our purpose.  Its amazing
how much you learn when you are humbled and then look at your
weaknesses from God’s perspective.  None of us are perfect and only
through Christ will we ever be perfect.  I love that although my
challenges here are so direct, so is my exposure to the simple truths
of the gospel.  Having the doctrine of the gospel a constant focus of
my study makes the principles easy to recognize.  Whether I apply
these truths to my challenges is up to me.  Its really quite amazing.
I am honored to have this experience.
Thats a lot to be thinking about huh 🙂

Something that made me laugh:
We were proselyting and I walked up to some grandmothers selling
things on the street.  They made me feel like a pop star.  One of them
held my hand and introduced me to the others telling that I believed
in Jesus.  Then they all said “amen”.  Then I told them who I was and
then one of them made the shape of a heart above her head and said “i
love you”.  Haha yeah.  It was good.  Someone should make a
documentary of my life.  Its hilarious.

Oh, and you know how everyone that goes to Korea comes back with 15
celebrities that everyone told them they looked like?  Well they do.
I got my first one the other day.  It was from my companion.  She said
that I looked like Hermione Granger.  No, not Emma Watson. Hermione.
I had just gotten out of the shower and dried my hair.  Don’t worry
though.  Its a step up.  My first companion said I looked like a lion.

So… Micah is off to boot camp.  Is he going to be there next April?
Mom, I am so glad to hear about your hands.
I love you,
Thanks for the inspiration!!

 

 

 

 

Something I have been thinking about really quickly:
We only have 1 investigator right now.  Last week we met her and were
able to serve her.  I was just really humbled to be able to serve her
and I am so grateful for the opportunity to carry out our calling in
that way.  I am convinced that it is the best way to do missionary
work.  Before anything else, you have to show people that you care.

SOmething that made me laugh:
We have been proselyting a lot and funny things keep happening.  Last
week we were just street proselyting in the open market and some old
man walked up to me and just said BOO and walked away.  So strange and
so funny.  Then I had a conversation or at least tried to have a
conversation with a vendor. The way that old ladies start
conversations here is that they tell you that you are beautiful and
then they slap your bum… it was just so funny to me.  Culture is so
different in that way.   Koreans are just funny people.  I always
thought they were really serious and stuff, but they are really funny.
 They have a good sense of humor.  THe more I understand the more I
can pick up on.

  I love you so much and hope to
hear from you next week 🙂

So I was reading Mosiah this morning and I was just amazed at the
mercy of Jesus Christ and this wonderful plan that has been put forth
for us.  I read mosiah chapter 13 through 18 and I suggest you do too.
It is so amazing. Isaiah was an incredible prophet with a great
understanding and testimony of the mission of Christ.  Something that
really struck me while reading was  Mosiah 14:7 “He was oppressed and
he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb
to the slaugher, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb so he
opened not his mouth”  In the MTC Elder Bednar talked to us about how
everything Christ does is for us.  We all know this, but it is
particularly enlightening to read of Christ’s acts and to really think
about the purpose behind which he does things.
Especially in talking about the resurrection.  In Mosiah 14:18-23 it
was so plain to me why Jesus rose again.  Why he suffered for our sins
and opened not his mouth.  Why he so willingly submitted to literally
every pain and affliction that he needed to take upon himself that we
might have eternal life.  Literally every thing he did, and the things
he bore with patience is incredible.
I hope on this easter Sunday, you think about that and the eternal
significance it has in your life personally.  I know that he lives and
that he rose again for our sakes.
A tender mercy I have seen.  Yesterday our branch watched conference.
Me and the other forigner missionary were going to just watch it in
korean and later watch what we could in english, but one of the
members pulled up the written talks on his phone and we were able to
read conference.  I couldn’t look at him to thank him because my eyes
were too full of tears.  It was such a tender mercy.  I am grateful
that I could read conference.  It was probably one of the most
powerful conference experiences in my life.  I loved it.
I need to go, but I love you very much.
Have a wonderful day!!
Love,
Sister Sara Hansen

Dearest Family,
It sounds like everyone is doing well… at least I hope they are.  Mom, I am hoping the skirts were a little bigger because i have put on a little weight.  I think… yeah its hard to tell… we don’t have a scale at our house so its really hard to keep track of.  I could weigh myself here at the post office, but only if I want the scale to announce it in korean to everyone in the office.  SO, I stopped that a long time ago.  If not, thats ok too.  I am guessing that the summer will help me loose that blessing from seosan.  Plus, my new companion doesn’t like to eat. SO, I think we are going to get along just fine. I really miss sister kim, but sister lee is so nice too.  Its hard for her coming into an area where everyone loved sister kim SO much, but I think she will be just fine.  I think she and I need to learn something more from seosan.
It sounds like conference was wonderful.  I am excited to read it.  I am trying to see if I can go out to another area to watch it in english next week.  But if not, I will listen to it in korean next week and read subtitles in english.  I am so lucky that I can hear the prophets and apostles and understand them in their native tongue.  I really never thought about how much of a blessing that is, but I am grateful.
Our three areas combined on saturday and sunday and had a meeting.  It was so wonderful.  President and SIster Furniss came and talked to everyone and it was just so good to see them and everyone in our three areas.  I was on cloud nine.
We also had a meeting with our ward mission leader last night.  We got a missionary fresh from the MTC in seosan last week and he met the mission leader yesterday.  I think he knows more Korean than I do… that is the greenie and not the mission leader, but yeah, they all know more than I do.. .so my korean definitely is not awesome.  Last night while we were meeting though, It was so amazing because I don’t really understand a lot, but while he was talking to us the spirit was so strong.  I didn’t understand everything he was saying but I got that feeling of wanting to be better, wanting to be a better servant, wanting to be stronger and wanting to just be better.  I found it interesting that  here I am a girl from Provo Utah, called to this small city in Korea to learn from this humble member of the church in South Korea.  The church’s base isn’t in Salt Lake, it is in the testimony and true conversion of each member of the church.  The gospel and its strength is in how much you let it penetrate your heart and direct your actions. It was so good. and my spirit was fed.  Sometimes I feel like what i am learning on my mission is to follow the spirit and not my logic.  Its a humble and fulfilling experience.
Something funny:
So, I forgot to mention (i think I forgot to mention) that we got a new investigator last week… we met in the bath house.  SHe walked up to sister kim and i and just started talking to us and telling us we were beautiful… um yeah, probably the most weird and awkward experience in my life.  But, we met again (fully dressed) and then again.  We ate lunch with her and when sister kim said a prayer over the food, she started crying.  Her heart is so soft and she is so accepting.  After lunch she wanted to just make sure we were healthy and strong so, she took us to the Korean hospital. The Hospital in korea is just like an accupuncturist.  I have been and I didn’t really want to repeat that experience so, I just kept telling them that I was fine and that I didn’t need to be checked… I hope I didn’t offend her.  I am scared to meet again.. It was so hard to argue my case when I really have no idea how to say anything in Korean, but they were content when I said next time. So, yeah I don’t really want to meet again.
Well that is all for now…
Much love,
Sister Hansen
OH golly Family I LOVE YOU!!
It sounds like you are all doing wonderful.  Today was transfers and I am staying in Seosan.  I will have another Korean companion and I am a little worried.  But, I know that this is where God needs me.  Once again. It has been hard because I am on the fourth floor of my apartment with no elevator, but, despite that, president still felt like I needed to be in Seosan… so I am.  Sometimes I am taken by surprise that I am on a mission and that I am in Korea.  Part of me feels like I know this.  I cant really explain, but my companion for example.  I needed her.  In so many ways, I needed her.  I feel like I have learned so much about people relations from her… really I don’t think she is human.  She is SO compassionate and SO understanding of absolutely everyone.  I am going to miss her.
I am so thrilled that everyone is getting involved in indexing and family history.  Really I can’t relay my joy to you adequately enough, but if you are doing it, you probably can feel that joy anyway.  Honestly I don’t think that you realize how happy it makes you until you have to miss a week of temple attendance or you are not able to index names for a while.  So I have heard about the peel family from both dad and Jacob.  Really what an amazing story.  Kudos to you for recognizing that as a blessing.  Mom and Dad, are you still going to the temple every week? I hope you are.
Kaela, thank you for the words of CS lewis… really I love that.  It really makes me want to give my all here.  I only have a year on my mission on April 11th and when I think about what was going on last April it seems like yesterday.  So, this is going to go by SO fast.
Something I have been thinking about: We went to one of our areas on Friday and we were on our way back thinking about our visit with a member and her friends.  I looked out the bus window and saw the stars. They were so beautiful and bright.  The bus was quiet and my companion and I were just talking about haha aquariums of all things.  But I was just so happy and satisfied about our work.  I just feel so much gratitude that I can be on a mission right now.  I hope I never forget that feeling.  The feeling of knowing that everything I am doing is in the hands of God.  I feel like he is making me what he needs me to be for the rest of my life.  Its so hard sometimes, I think the parts of our character that are the most dangerous and self destructive are the parts that are hardest to purge ourselves of. I know you all know what I mean.
SOmething funny:
Really I cant think of something funny…
Um we went to the bath house this morning.  Actually I think I am actually a korean person now. SO, I don’t think I will ever have a problem wearing a bathing suit in public again. I never thought I would react this way, but naked people are just naked people and when I go home, I think I will miss the bath houses.  Mom, isnt that crazy? Oh, and I am terrified for the summer.  WE went to the sauna, and sat down and my companion says that the sauna is what it is like in the summer for a week… the rest of the summer is just deathly hot.  I am terrified…
um, I think thats all for now.  I love you!!
IT was SO good to hear from all of you.
Mom, I don’t know what color of skirt I would need.  um maybe just some color… but not over board?  Or white… I have no white skirts I have no idea.  you know my style more than I do.  Thank you 🙂 I ripped one of my skirts the other day so… that will be nice.
I love you
bye

 

Mama!!! and everyone else,
I love hearing about everyone and what they are doing.   The weather has been mostly good here and the work is going slowly but surely.  I am so surprised that the First Presidency sent out that letter.  I had a debate with a sister in the MTC about Hatch.  I like him… she didn’t.  But hey, we are both on our missions so, neither of us could vote.  I haven’t had any political debates since.  However, I am really excited for the election and it would be awesome if I could do the whole absentee ballot thingy.  Could you send me information on that?  Haha, um 99 to 6 eh? Way to go dad, next go for congress.  Actually, do that when you retire.  I like having you around.
Something I am grateful for: I am grateful for this opportunity that I have to act as a ministering angel for Heavenly Father.  I love contacting people, smiling to people, listening to people even though I really have NO idea what they are saying.  I love the happiness that comes from it.  Mom, you talked about points of being happy and how to be happy.  One of the things was to be immersed in what you are doing.  If I really think about what I am doing and how it fits in the plan of salvation, I can’t help but keep that to myself.  Similarly, when I share that joy with others just by being happy, because lets be honest, people can’t understand me when I speak, I am even more happy.  Its so strange but its an eternal principle.  Actually I think President Uchtdorf said something along the lines of “those who bring sunshine to others cannot keep it from themselves”  It’s SO true.
This week, we were waiting for a bus to go back home and we sat down in the terminal next to two old ladies.  One of the ladies turned around and asked me where I was from.  I said that I am from America and then she just started saying a bunch of stuff.  I could tell that it was about Americans and gum and chips but thats about it.  So, she got up and left, but I guess my mind was still on gum and America.  I have had three pieces of gum in my backpack from before my mission.  I know its kind of gross, but I offered some to my companion who just got excited and we chased down the old lady and gave her some American gum.  So, it turns out that all of the stuff that I didn’t understand was her talking about the war.  During the Korean war, Americans gave Korea gum and chips.  She said that because they were so hungry it was a big blessing. She said that she is now 76 and she will never forget the taste of american gum.  SO, when we gave her the gum, she had the biggest, cutest, probably toothless smile on her face and it made my heart melt.
I guess that is what made me think too.  Sorry this format is a little messed up.
Something that made me laugh, One of our investigators is taking the fact that we are serving missionaries seriously.  SHe said that she wanted us to teach her at work.  So, we showed up and she started telling me to go arount to the patrons of her work and give them coffee.  Um, that is SO not in our job descriptions.  It was funny and sister kim and i laughed about that all the way home.
Oh something else, we were getting on another bus and the bus guy asked if I was cold.  I said no.  Then he went off about how all Americans eat hamburgers and steak So, when I grow up I will be fat.  Its so funny because they think that steak is really all that we eat.
Mom, I am so grateful for what you said about the temple.  Really, I think the day I come home, the first thing I want to do after flying in, is go to the temple with everyone… and then go eat steak ;). I know that its hard to go and sometimes you are so tired afterward, but it is such a blessing.  One wardmember went to the temple last week.  He woke up at 3 am to go and got back at 9pm.  Really, we are SO blessed.  I feel like every missionary has stories about saints like that… and now I do too.  Count your blessings 🙂
I love you so much!!
Have a wonderful week!!
Love,
Sister Hansen

Hello again!!

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Everything will work out my Dear Family I promise.  Life is challenging isn’t it?  I love it though.
Really, we had a pretty rough week last week because nearly all of our investigators dropped… Yeah, pretty sad, but we are doing alright.   We found a golden investigator this week though.  SHe is absolutely amazing… let me just give you an idea: When we first met her, she said she was looking for religion sister Kim gave her all of the pamphets she had and in our second meeting, she said she had read all of them.  Second, she has only read three books in her life which doesn’t sound like a plus but she said that the book of Mormon was the first book she has actually wanted to read.  Third, she said something that was really beautiful and It really made me think…
She has a really hard life and while telling us about it she said “I just want to hold hands with God”  I think we have all felt like that before.  I found it interesting how universal that feeling is.  It is similar to that longing to go home to something familiar and comforting.  What is awesome is that we can help. We have the truths and the promise that she needs. I am so lucky that I have this gospel and that I have never really had it challenged by anyone.  The Korean members here face that persecution a lot.  A lot of peope think that we are a cult and it is really sad.
Something that made me laugh:
So, everyone seems to be thinking about bath houses… Yeah I am going next week.  I promised my companion I would.  From what I heard, everyone is really scared to try it, but once they do, they love it.  Its so funny because its SO against my nature… I still might chicken out…
I think daylight savings was something that was started by Benjamin Franklin (at least thats what national treasure says) and I don’t think the principle made it to korea… Did you start that it Utah yet?
I love you all so much dear family 🙂  It will all work out in the end.  Keep going to the temple and keep your chin up.  Oh, I might not have been very coherent in my last letter.  So, the lady that was crawling across the street was getting medicine for herself.  She couldn’t walk or use her legs at all for that matter.  So she was dragging her legs along…man, I am so grateful that I have legs that still work.

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Mama!! Family, and friends…
Hello from Happy Seosan!!
We have had quite the week here and are SO busy all of the time and I love that.  Our baptism date fell through but we noticed some particular blessings that are still coming from the experience.  The first is that God knows us and he answers our prayers in a very personal way.  Although sometimes it takes some heartaches learning to find his will, we are in the end, so much happier.  We had been praying for her… we have had a hard time committing her to come to church and so we were praying for her.  I know that in my prayers I prayed that she would have a desire to come to church.  The next day, we received a call right after church and the first thing she said was “after I get baptized, do I have to come to church EVERY week?” to which our response was yes.  Well after that she was just frustrated and didn’t want to get baptized.  But then she told us that she couldn’t stop thinking about church and that she was wrestling with the decision to go all day.  Well, she decided to go and started to get ready when her work called and she had to go there instead.  She was really upset because she finally made up her mind to go and then she couldn’t.  So in the end, our prayer was actually answered.  I am grateful and I can see the hand of God so clearly in our missionary life.
funny moment:
So, There is this man who lives in the apartment below us.  The walls are thin or something because we can hear so much of what is going on in the apartments around us.  Well, every morning we wake up and start getting ready for the day. Every morning at after he wakes up, he sneezes 3 or 4 times.  Believe it or not, his sneezes are a little tender mercy.  They sound exaclty like dad’s sneezes.  I told this to sister kim and she said that they are exactly like HER dads sneezes.  So, every morning and sometimes night we giggle at the man who sneezes and we tell our dads that we love him.  Dad, I guess that means you sneeze like a korean.
Something I have been thinking about:
We had a humbling experience this week.  We were going to visit the afore said investigator at her apartment when we came across a grandmother crawling across the street.  Really it was quite a rude awakening to the purpose of our calling and really being the followers of the savior that our nametags say we are.  She needed medicine and because her husband is suffering from dementia she had to get it.  So we found her when she was halfway there.  Really it was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had.  I love these people and they need help.  I am one of the few selected to be here at this time.

 

Hey,
Its me again!!
Wow, its really good to hear from most of you.  I am glad to see that although we are all facing challenges, we are all still kicking.  Haha, esp. Kaela (you really are a fiesty one)  I talked to Dr. Brady on Saturday… it was really good to talk to him.  It made me feel a lot better. However, I am basically a grandma.  I have to go up stairs sideways and sit on a pillow.  Great huh.  Some things he didn’t think about that might be causing me pain are sitting on the floor, sleeping on the floor, eating on the floor, and going up stairs.  So, I am going to use my left leg more to go up and down stairs.  So far, its a little uncomfortable, but he said that he was confident that we can work through this… so I trust him.
Something I have been grateful for:
We extended a baptismal invitation this week and our investigator accepted!! Yay!!  So this baptismal interview process is kind of tough.  I am so grateful for it though.  I know that it is Gods way of doing things… a way of order and cleanliness.  How else would God’s true church funciton?  She is such a sweetheart and we love her so much.
Something that made me think:
I have been so impressed with how much our investigators, mission leaders, and ward members love us.  Especially our investigators.  THey are always so mindful of us and want to take care of us when we are really just trying to take care of them.  THat is something that I really didn’t expect to receive.  One ward member walked up to us yesterday and just poured out her concerns over my hip to us.  I couldn’t tell what she was saying except for a couple words but I knew that she was really conerned.
I know that Heavenly Father is really watching out for me here.  I know that he loves these people and that is why I am here.  I know that he has SO much for me to learn.  Its funny because Jacob mentioned something about weaknesses and I have really been studying weaknesses this week.  I have made an effort to be really frank with myself and my weaknesses.  In Ether 12 there is an amazing promise from God about that and it has been a huge blessing in my life.
I have also been thinking about geneology this week and I am pleased to hear that you are finding a lot more information this week!  I want to see some pictures of those houses dad! thats really so neat.
Micah, Be safe ok?  If i think of anything that skyrockets language learning I will let you know.  One thing that has helped me is not being afraid to pray for the gift of tongues.  THen, work for it.  It will happen.  I am still pretty bad at Korean, but I am having experiences with the language now that will really help me later.
Something that made me laugh:
um… we laugh at a lot of things but somehow, when we get here, I cant think of anything.  Sometimes I just repeat things that I hear a lot and we laugh at thjem.
We are out of time, but I love you and all is well I promise.
Keep praying and being strong.
I love you!!

I had some milestones this week.  First, we were teaching a lesson to an investigator and her son took his first steps!! It was SO awesome.  I don’t think its as big of a deal in korea because she acted as if it was no big deal, but I was SO excited and proud.
second, I ate pig intestine… its my companions favorite food.  SO, we celebrated and ate pig intestine together.  IT was actually pretty good, but still the thought of it makes my stomach churn… it didn’t really sit too well.
third, I ate something else that was exotic, oh, liver.  I ate liver and it wasn’t bad either.  There are other things that i’ve eaten… but I don’t know what they were.
Something I am grateful for,
I am grateful for my mission president.  Really it has been pretty hard not being home around family and people that speak english.  I want to be there to support you in all the progress you are making.  I was talking to him about my leg and I said something like “it would just be so much easier to take care of it at home like I did before”  his reply was that yes, everything would be easier if we were at home, but there are things that you will learn from your mission that will bless your life forever.  He doesn’t let people give up. Like you mom and dad, he knows people’s potential and he has a vision for them.  I am grateful for that.  It is hard being here, and it requires a lot of faith that I don’t have yet, but I will.  I am grateful that Heavenly Father is in control of some things and not me.  Because I would give up a lot sooner than he would let me give up.
SOmething that made me laugh.
I think there are a lot of jokes I miss out on because I don’t speak korean… I can’t really think of something funny. ah, sorry 🙂

Something that made me think:  I have been reading Ether 12 out loud every day this week (it was the suggestion of President Randall before I left).  And because I was struggling, I thought it would be a good exercise.  It has really strengthened my faith and prompted me to rely on God who knows all.  I have been thinking about how in all stages of life, with every big decision, your faith is tested and tried and thats why they are big decisions.  I am on the phone with a doctor so I have to go.
I love you and I will write next week.
Oh yeah,  I wanted to tell you about one of our investigators.  She was originally english interest, but we have started working with her and she is just wonderfull.  THe other night we asked her son if he would pray at the end of the lesson and he shyed away and said no.  But she said that she would. She said the whole prayer for us. I don’t really know what she was saying but it was all for us.  We love her so much and she loves us and it is amazing.  She said that last time she was really worried about us when we left.  anyway.  Thats all.
Love you