Sunday, March 29, 2015

Week 10 (in pictures)

For whatever reason there was no email for this week, only pictures. 

Week 10

This week was really fast for me. I didn't get a chance to take very many pictures unfortunately but I will try to do better. 
We are working on finding all the members of our branch here. It's so crazy, there are 27 pages of members and we have only very few who actually attend church on a regular basis. We began to look for people, its strange here because addresses don't always exist and numbers don't always add up. We can walk down a street and the numbers will go 90, 39, 95 and sometimes they just jump around like crazy. There are also some streets have two different names or go in circles, it makes me miss the grid system in Utah knowing right where you are and how to get where you are going. 
We began looking for some people on our list that we had an address for but most of the time we just walk all day looking for people asking all the shop owners if they know where the address is or if they even have heard of the person. Sometimes we get lucky, but most of the time, we end up walking in circles. That is our joke that that is our favorite thing to do, walk in circles. One of the last couple of days we walked up and down this street like 4 times trying to figure out the numbers and it turns out the numbers don't always match up on both sides of the road. So that was fun. We walked from 16th Street to 8th street. Most of the time we never even find the person but on one day this week we got really lucky and ended up finding 4 of the names for the day. One of them had died 20 years ago and no one had updated the record. No wonder she was inactive!!!! We also met with a member to see why she wasn't coming to church and some how someone got the record all wrong. Her brother was baptized and taught, not her.  How crazy is that, but it led us to meet with her father-in-law who is very nice to us and is going to let us teach him a little. We also had a baptism this week a less-active family who is returning had their daughter baptized on Saturday by her father. It's so  fun to meet with them. They have the cutest little 1 yr old and an 8 yr old. The 1 yr old is warming up to me and constantly comes and shakes my hand its so cute. The 8 yr old reminds me of Bria, she pulls out her BOM reader every lesson and tells us the stories in the BOM. We are also teaching a 9 yr old boy as well.  He comes from a part-member family and is the last to be baptized. He is so cute. He sits and listens so intently and is trying so hard to learn so that he can be baptized. It's really cute and his family is so sweet to us. They stop everything they are doing just to listen. I think of Bria every time and how excited she is to be baptized. School just got out this week and they will go back the end of June. So everyone is going on vacation or going out of town. This morning, we all played volleyball and basketball as a group it was really fun to get out and do something fun and exercise. 
On Saturday, we attended a Relief Society activity where we got massages and most everyone does reflexology. I asked what that is because it looked like a foot zone and it is. Isn't that cool? 
My heart broke this week as we learned that one of our members had something happen in her family and the daughter she has been raising but is actually her niece was taken from her and then they were forced out of their house. I feel so bad for her to lose all that she has. 
We have General Conference the week after you here and get to watch all of it in the district center. This week is Holy week here and I hear that I will see some really strange things because this is the one holiday that everyone celebrates. It's the only time that people don't work. I was reading this week in Alma about the  Anti-nephi-lehi's and how willing they were to lay down their lives and their weapons because they understood the Plan of Salvation.
 Mahal ko kayo
Sister Hansen 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Week 9--Olongapo East

This week was so great!
 It was also so hard because we lost another member of our MTC District, Sister Goodman. I know that she is where she needs to be. We went shopping on Monday and I got some new clothes. 

This week we went to visit a member in the hospital and wow, that was a culture shock. I had no idea that a hospital could be that dirty. It looked more like a triage unit after a major natural disaster, not a hospital!  I was so heart broken for these people who have nothing. It was so hard because I just kept thinking how is what I am doing actually helping these people, but the truth is, I am helping these people. They live in one-room homes that they pull blankets out on the floor to sleep on but I am making a difference in their lives. I am helping them understand that God is mindful of each person individually and that we will be given all that we need through blessings.
 It's fun every time I am out walking around, I have people come up to me and say, "Hello ma'm" it might be the only English they know, but they are so sweet to try and communicate with me. Even though I don't know what they are saying to me, they try to communicate with me. They all think I am so tall and I wore my hair down yesterday they all said I looked like a barbie doll. Several kids just stare at me and love to come and hug me it is so cute.  Every time I climb into a jeepney or a tricycle, I think how funny it is going to be when we are all here as a family trying to climb into either. I barely fit in a tricycle so I can't wait to see Dad climb in. 

On Friday, I got to go out with the sisters in my area who are a transfer ahead of me here but it turns out we will probably go home the same time. It was so fun to get to talk with them. They are in kind of the same place as I am, just trying to figure it all out. When we were with each other, we were a trio and I got to visit Sister Goodman's apartment. I felt so so sad to see the things she had left there, things like her shoes it reminded me of all that we had together in the MTC and travelling here to the Philippines.It was so fun being together though I get to know one another. After we got everything all ready, we got to go visit people and got to climb a mountain (really you just walk stairs) it's so funny they all thought it was such a huge work out. I was totally used to it from work and so the only think that bothered me was just that it was the hottest part of the day and I just felt gross. 

It's cute every week, we eat out as a district. At our last district meeting, one the missionaries tried to get me to eat balot but luckily they found none. We ate at a place called Jollibee. My trainer asked what I like to eat from Jollibee and didn't understand I have never heard of Jollibee before coming here. It's weird, they have spaghetti at a fast food restaurant. Bria would love it. Everyone asks about my rock necklace and asks if it has a meaning or if I am a geologist. I tell them it's from my mom.
 I love you all and my time is up. I can't wait to write again next week I pray for you all.

Sister Hansen

Laundry Day!!!!
For FHE Teesh and her companion and housemates playing a game. If you got an incorrect answer, you put a red mark on your face. Looks like fun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Random Photos

Teesh uploaded some photos but ran out of time to tell me about them. Some are self explanatory others we will learn about over the next few months I am guessing.

In one of the care packages we sent Teesh we drew our hands and attached arms with special messages for Teesh. She could wrap these around herself when she needed a hug from us.
A sister in Leticia's MTC district brought this tie and it has a special meaning. We shall all learn together of its importance.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Week 7 & 8

I will start with the last few days in Provo, and continue up until now. We met with Leah for the last time Monday night. She shared with us about a bent nail and gave one to each of us. She told us that as we see ourselves as the bent nails of the world, we are able to help lift each other. She talked about how if we continue to beat each other on the head all we do is continue to bend ourselves more, but if we help lift one another at the back, we can all help one another to become the best that we can be and we can become closer to becoming straight again. It is also important for us to remember we don't need to be perfectly straight in order to return to our Father in Heaven. On Tuesday 
We sang our last song for choir in Provo, we sang" Be still My Soul".
Traveling was hard. We were all so exhausted. 
We had to be up so early and were traveling so long and then did not get to the Manila MTC until almost midnight on Saturday. We lost 2 days between flying and the time zone.dWhenWWhenhenWehnWehn 

The MTC is so nice. It is just like a really nice resort, even for America. The drivers here are scary. No one obey's the laws of the road and everyone tries to get as close as they can to the other cars. President Trask was so great. We learned while there that he had only been there 6 weeks. He is really laid back but the previous president was like a drill sergeant. So we always went to him to ask if we could do some things knowing our other teachers would be mad at us for not following our schedules. 
We got to go to the temple grounds and take pictures since it was closed. We also got locked in our classroom and had to have someone come take the doorknob off to let us out. We all studied outside one night and there were these cats chasing each other around. We were laughing our heads off at them and narrating their story. Also, we chased some toads/frogs around it was really fun. I didn't get a picture though. We watched Legacy that night too and it was so cute all the Filipino missionaries were giggled in the kissing scenes. They are so cute. Everywhere we would go, they would say, "Hello, sisters". On our first day they came in while we were doing service and were helping us and talking with us. We got to proselyte in Manila. I was with a sister from New Zealand. We also had a room check and so we all spent time cleaning and getting ready. When the sisters came in and asked if the room was alright for us, we laughed a little at the misunderstanding of a room-check.  

Now I am here in the Olongapo East Zone and in the East and West Tapinac.  I learned yesterday that there are 6 missionaries in this branch with me. That is so weird I am used to only a few missionaries for a stake. Our schedule is weird because we don't leave the apartment until 2 some days and by 3 most everyone is taking a nap because it is so hot. We are going into summer here. My housemates are Sister Aggasid (companion) and Sister Potestad, and Sister Lucillo. I ate a little fried fish that looked nasty and I went to a funeral that was outdoors it was so strange. I got to see Sister Goodman at our District Meeting and that was really great to see a familiar face from Provo. 
We are called a batch that came in and its weird because most of the 26 came from Manila and so I don't know them but they all think I do. They also think that because I am from Utah, I know everyone from anywhere in Utah and think I live next to the temple.  If anyone asks as a missionary coming here I would definitely recommend somethings like half socks.  I didn't realize it but most everyone wears them here. I have seen a couple cockroaches and they are not my favorite. For everyone preparing to come it is hard, there is no getting around that but just remember that you wont understand a thing and that's all right. You were sent here for a reason. Everyone will love you and want to talk to you. Don't be afraid or worried about anything and you can always email me. President Trask will meet you at the airport in Manila and is so great at helping everyone.
 I love you all and miss you but can't wait until I can speak the language and bring you all back with me to show you all the people. I also had my first baptism this week, Laden she is 14.  She is so cute and excited to be a member which is so great. I am so excited to hear from you all. 
Sister Hansen

Monday, March 9, 2015

Facebook to the Rescue

There is a wonderful man, whom I hope to meet some day, that made my day! He must be serving in the office in the mission. Anyway, he posted all these photos and we were lucky enough to have Teesh and her traveling buddies from the Provo MTC, ride with him, so that means Teesh is in a lot of photos. If you only knew how much these photos have made me smile. I love how this elder has documented all the little details(man after my own heart) He mentions how this will be the last group of missionaries he will be welcoming into the mission, so I feel super extra blessed.
In this photo, Teesh, Sister Gibbs, and Sister Edrington are front row girls during orientation.

This is all the new missionaries with their trainers. Obviously there were a lot more missionaries that attended the Manila MTC than Provo. Can you see the 4 Caucasian sisters in the bunch. President and Sister Dahle are from Lehi Utah. They are front and center in the photo below.

This is a pretty common scene(according to the elder serving in the mission office) The dogs are all pretty skinny and are sometimes people's dinner. Hungry anyone?
This is a common street market.
 Teesh with her trainer. Sister Sarah Jane Sardo Aggasid. I had a sweet, recently returned, sister reach out to me and let me know she trained Teesh's  trainer. She said that you wouldn't find a more patient, loving and kind sister than Sister Aggasid. I cried tears of joy when I received that message,  those were the exact words I have been praying for Teesh in a trainer. The Lord hears and answers prayers.
Mission President wife and MTC Companion, Sister Gibbs

I laughed with this photo. Teesh rarely ate fresh vegetables in the MTC. She said all the vegetables were either cooked or canned. She said "I can't wait to eat fresh vegetables in the Philippines".Well sweetie, your wish has been granted.

Teesh must have been in her interview with the President in this shot but here are her three traveling buddies.

This was the last lunch served before sending the missionaries out into the field. Good luck missionaries. Go find those souls searching for the gospel.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mission President Email

Dear Sister Hansen;

We are delighted with the safe arrival of your daughter, Sister Leticia Elizabeth Hansen, here in the Olongapo Mission. She is excited about her mission and enthusiastic about entering the Lord's service in this area.  She has had an orientation session and is now serving in her first assignment with her companion.

Sister Hansen has been assigned to Olongapo 3S 1 Area, Cabalan District in the Olongapo East Zone. Her companion is Sister Sarah Jane Sardo Aggasid. The enclosed map will help you to locate this area and enable you to follow each future transfer.

We urge you to write your daughter each week.  Please include encouraging news of family events and achievements, spiritual experiences and other matters which will bring joy and deeper commitment.  Family problems or other matters which she does not need to know can only bring worry or concern. In emergency cases or special situations you can send a letter to me and I will inform the missionary.

All mail should be sent to the address listed above.  Packages sent through the Postal Service should be sent to the same address. Pouch is available in the United States.  If you need address for pouch or how to do it, please contact me by email. Please do not use Fed Ex or any other mail service because it is expensive to receive the packages.  Be aware that packages sent containing foodstuffs will be attacked by rodents during shipping.  Pack accordingly.  Enclosing your package completely with tape is recommended.

This is a wonderful mission and your daughter is in for one of the greatest experiences of her life.  With your support and encouragement she will mature and progress beyond your expectations. She will develop a great love for her fellow missionaries as they strive to teach a better way of life, and the principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with your daughter.  We assure you that we will do all we can do to see that she has a fulfilling mission.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you or your daughter.  We love your missionary and want this mission to be a great experience for your entire family.

May the Lord's blessings be with you.



Dennis V. Dahle
Philippines Olongapo Mission                                    
Mission President

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Kind Words

Dear Sister Jennifer Hansen,

I just couldn't leave the MTC without saying thank you for sharing your daughter with me and the people of the Philippines. I can tell you have a very loving family. You should see the way Sister Hansen's face lights up when she reads your letters and how excited she is to get your packages. It is hard sending family on missions(I have sent two brothers) and I can't even imagine sending your daughter! However, I just wanted to let you know she is blessing lives here. I am a person with many weaknesses that I am aware of and surely many more hidden ones. Sister Hansen has not only helped me identify weaknesses, but is also helping me turn them into strengths. I am so grateful for you and love you for raising a wonderful daughter. I can't wait to hear about the ways she blesses the people of the Philippines.
Sister Gibbs
(from Colorado)


I have made it to Manila!!!!
 It is so beautiful here. We got in and to the MTC about midnight and just started our first morning and day here. It is 11:00 right now on Saturday which is weird that we missed like 2 days in travel. The traffic and cars are so weird there are lanes but no one follows them and they just go wherever they want to go. I tried to call in Tokyo but no one answered since it was so late. We met President Trast at the airport last night and he is wonderful. He is so friendly and warm and inviting to everyone. I will be here until Wednesday and then will transfer out to the field.  I don't know when I will have the opportunity to email home again. I haven't gotten any pictures yet but I will before I leave and try to send them home. It is not as hot as I was expecting but we are inside for almost all of the last little bit. It is so bright and so nice here.  I actually got a hot shower last night, it felt wonderful. 
I hope that one day I can bring the whole family here for you to experience it, but the flight is awful. I took some of the pills but I still got pretty sick yesterday and a little today. This morning we got pancakes and ham with some delicious bread. I have no clue what kind it is but I love it. It's weird to think that it is after 8 pm there at home and the next day here but one day I will be adjusted to it. We also found out the temple is closed while we are here for renovations so we get to see it but not go inside. 
Today I get to go and teach with the missionaries here in Manila and that will be so cool. Let me know if there is anything you want me to find out or to look up and get pictures of while I am here. Oh and the water tastes terrible but hopefully soon I can get used to that. I loved talking with you all in Salt Lake that was the best part. I tried to text when we got up this morning but I did not have any service and we got busy.  I am working on getting caught up on sleep. I felt like I slept the whole way here but somehow I am still tired. I haven't been able to look up the flight numbers but I bet you could find them on line or call someone to get it figured out I think the flight was 623 from Salt Lake to Portland and from there to Narita Japan and then Manila. I exchanged some of my money into pesos and they are so cool looking. The pills I took helped a lot but did knock me out for a while.
Love you all, I'll talk to you as soon as I can. 

Mahal Kita
Sister Hansen