Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hand Written Letter from Manila MTC

Tuesday 3/10/15
A letter Leticia sent through the mail that we just received

Kamusta po ang pamilya ko,

The MTC in Manila is absolutely beautiful, but the city is a crazy place. We went yesterday to immigration and got to see the city and all of the huge houses and all of the slums and really poor areas. We even saw a prison where people yelled from the windows that they wanted bread. It was heart breaking to see the kids running around half dressed and alone. The rules of the road are that you fill in space unless the car behind you is going faster. Buses are always right. I do not even know how people drive here, it is so crazy. It's cute to be with all of the Filipino's here in the MTC because they stare at us and are always wanting to talk with us and shake our hands. They are all so tiny here, we are not only much taller but we are huge compared to them. They always walk around saying "Hello Sister" It is adorable. We have had some really funny experiences in the MTC. We were studying outside yesterday and it was just about dark when these two cats appeared from out of nowhere and we were narrating their lives while we could see them. They provided the best laughs. Then I saw something jumping around and there was a frog/toad just on the grass by us. I tried to get a picture but couldn't. We ended up seeing 3 frogs that night. So far those have been the craziest animals I have seen. It is so funny here because you tell someone that you are from Utah and they think you know everyone in the whole state of Utah. Sister Goodman and I get asked all the time if we were friends before our missions. We watched Legacy Sunday night and it was so cute to see all the Filipinos cover their eyes or their neighbors in the kissing scene. On Sunday, we also got a cultural lesson and the presenter was laughing his head off at all his jokes. It was so great. Filipinos definitely love to laugh. The last couple of days our schedule has been changing like none other and its funny because one person will ask us why we aren't were we are supposed to be and we will be told something completely different by President Trask(sorry for typo on email) The food here is great you just never ask what it is. Today is my last day in the MTC after tomorrow I am a real missionary. We went proselyting with the missionaries from Manila and actually met the missionaries from Olongapo who we will be replacing and they knew Kim and said she will be training soon. By the time you get this you, will probably know who my trainer is and I'll have emailed home but that's OK. It was crazy to go out proselyting because everyone thought I spoke Ilongo since I am going to Olongapo so that's a scary thought.  Filipinos speak so fast and so quiet that I can barely hear them let alone understand them.
I hope all is well at home and that you all are holding in there. I am here and I've actually eaten some pineapple on accident, of course. I also got told I will pick the language up quick because I speak it well right now. So there's hope. I love you all and can't wait to tell you all of my fun stories from here. When we meet again, love you all. Talk to you soon.
Mahal Kita,
Sister Hansen

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 14

My first week of transfers! 
I can't believe I have been here in the mission 1 transfer already and 2 of my mission are complete. Transfers definitely go faster here in the mission than the MTC. 
So much happened this week as well, hopefully I can remember them all. So I'll  start with Tuesday, we were teaching an investigator when Sister Potestad gets a text from the zone leaders saying who would be transferred.  Guess whose name was on the list...... my companion. I freaked out just a little since I was not fully prepared for that to happen. We hurried and finished the lesson and went home. Then it hit us, we never got the same text that she did, so we called all the different companionships to see if they got the same text and when we called Elder Bray to see if his companion got the same text,because his name was on the text, saying he would be transferred. We learned he was already transferred the day before so we thought, wow, this must be real Sister Aggasid you better get packing. So she cleaned out her closet and we helped her get packing and then at 6 pm we get another text this is the real transfer list we promise, we were like WHAT!!!
 It was a prank on us and we spent several hours that day doing nothing! Sister Aggasid did not transfer. I am so glad for that.  I'm pretty sure everyone in our zone got a new companion so that is exciting. We picked up Sister Walker, Sister Potestad's new companion. She is from Australia and is my same age. She has been out in the mission 1 transfer more than me. So it's nice to have another native English speaker in our house. 
Our house has been more of a hotel this week as well. On Wednesday, when we came home from work, Sister Potestad and Sister Walker had a another companion, Sister Haufano. She was waiting on something to go home. Then the next day after she left, we got a text asking if a different missionary could work with us before being put in her actual area. So it seems like we have a new housemate every couple of days right now. Also I learned about Ice candy ( a popsicle, like an otter pop) and so we made some and have been eating those like crazy! It's a good way to get a lot of water in right? 
I don't remember if I told you, but last week at Church we talked with a woman and it turns out she was a less active we have been trying to find since I got here. Her whole family is members, they grew up in the church and have become less active. She is due any day now with her first baby, Ella. We have been visiting her to see if she has had her baby yet and I love teaching her. She is so receptive to us and really wants to return to the church with her family. So far, she is over her due date but no baby yet. She looks so hot and miserable right now being pregnant. 
Well, the last thing I have to tell you is we got fed 3 times this week, its a record breaker!!!!!!!
The other sisters have to schedule out their meals and we just are so thankful to be fed. Our first was on Monday. You'll never guess what we ate.... balot and yes, I ate balot for the first time. I didn't get pictures, just a video. So unfortunately I can't send any to you but I am going to see if the family that fed it to us will post them on facebook or something so you can see. Now the question I know you all have, it tasted just like an egg, boiled but was pretty salty. We then got to eat ice cream and sweets after that it was not too bad. Then guess what happened this week at Church for us? We had 12 less active members attend sacrament meeting. I am thrilled at those numbers it means that the less actives are feeling the love of the members and are being welcomed back in to their home. We met a less active this week with a member who we have been trying to contact several times and she would hide from us or pretend she isn't home. She was out in the yard doing laundry and we were able to talk with her, she still has a testimony but has some pretty serious word of wisdom problems right now. As we learned this, I realized I have never had to help someone with something like that because she is the first who has told us about something like that. So hopefully she will let us teach her again and help her remember all that she has been taught and the things that she knows. This week President and Sister Dahle are working with us so that will be exciting! I'll let you know how that goes. Oh and before I forget I experienced my first rainy day, it was Tuesday. The sky looked like it might rain and then we were out walking and there was a clash of thunder and it poured for like 15 minutes. Everyone took cover and got under some shelter, we all just stood there waiting for the rain to stop cause if you weren't under shelter you were drenched like a rat! It was quite the experience but luckily nothing got wet on me! 
Sorry for no pictures this week. I will take more this week and send them to you all! 
Mahal Ko Kayo lahat! 
Sister Hansen 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Week 13 Olongapo East, Branch 3

So the experience from last week about the less-active brother, has completely changed everything for me. He came once again to church yesterday and has committed to come every week. He comes straight from Catholic Church, every Sunday. I think that's my favorite that he is so committed to come. Sister Lucillo spoke for her last Sunday here in the mission and he came. He sat in the back, but I just wanted to cry I was so happy that he came again. I love that he was touched to the point that it's not a one time thing for him. After sacrament meeting was over, I saw him get up and I wanted to go and talk to him but I didn't make it but when I turned around Sister Lucillo had introduced him to the Branch President and we are working on getting him a fellow-shipper so that he knows how much we love him and want to help him. 
This week we decided that rather than go out to eat at a restaurant after our meeting we would instead make food and have a potluck. Since we are sisters, we got to bring the main meal except the rice. We requested the elders bring rice and they did! We had a ton of rice. Sister Lucillo made Bicol Express which is absolutely delicious and the best news ever... I got the recipe so I can make it for you at home. It is so spicy! But delicious. Everyone brought other things. We made graham balls. It's cute, they throw the H in the word graham so its gra - ham I just giggle every time. Some elders bought a cake and others brought drinks and we had a little potluck it was fun.

 The the other fun thing we got to do was a Service Project. The other Elders in our zone are in Morong. No clue how to tell you where that is but its more of what I expected the Philippines to be like. Sometimes I forget I am here since I live in the city and we have 3 groceries stores, a mall, and the base right here. We joke with the Morong elders that they teach relief society because with it being summer, all the men move for work and leave their families. For our project, we helped an investigator with his job of cleaning the streets. I though picking up garbage, but no, we were weeding and people were using machetes to cut vines and then we burned everything. We have 3 missionaries who are going home this transfer and some who are pretty trunky.  One found a dead dog and decided to offer it as a burnt offering in the fire. It stunk so bad! Also we burned so many piles of garbage that we couldn't watch them all and so we almost started several forest fires.. We joked the new MORMON MISSIONARIES//HELPING HANDS GROUP start largest forest fire the Philippines has ever seen. But nope we got them put out before anything bad happened. 
We also tried to have a couple missionaries eat balot, I was not among them luckily, one day for me, but not yet. Poor Elder Bray has had to eat it 2 times cause he can't finish it. I got absolutely fried at the service project, it's funny, they don't know what a sunburn like I got is. They told me to put petroleum jelly on my skin, I just told them I was alright. But the miracle is that I went tan, at least I think tan they still tell me I am red which is true compared to them.  We watched the RM with Sister Lucillo before she left and joked with her that that will be her life now but it won't be she will be great. Our favorite line right now with each other is "Hallelujah, Praise the Lord". Also, we had the coolest experience this week. We were out proselyting, when a lady called out to us saying she had something to return to us. We were like what do you need to return to us? She pulled out a Book of Mormon and we said, "what, you've been taught the gospel and we have no clue who you are". Turns out, she saw the missionaries everyday going to an appointment, said to them, why aren't you coming to teach me like you do this other person. So she began being taught to the point of having a baptismal goal date but because of transfers and no records, she had been lost for a year before we met her. We told her the book is hers to keep and that we will come and teach her now. Also, a less active member, who has not been all that thrilled to have us over, found out that her friend who has been a member for a year was able to receive her endowments and be sealed to her family. She told us she worries for her son that he will ask her why his father is not in his life and why she is not active in the church. So, she has decided to try and get back with his father, be married so that she can be sealed to them forever. We referred the father to the missionaries and are working with her to help her receive her endowment here soon. Timing is so crazy here, and we never know when someone will be ready for the gospel or the next step. Also, last thing, the experience I told you about last week was sent to our mission president and he is including it in our weekly hand off for the whole mission to see. I can't believe I have already been here for 1 transfer or that I am this far in. Time is so strange on a mission, the days really never end and then suddenly you have been here for 3 months! 
Yesterday, before I forget was so fun since it's Sunday and Sister Lucillos last day here, we went to lunch at a members home in their area, then to a meeting where we were fed dinner and then a second dinner. It was so strange to me I am not used to being fed so many times. It's funny too there is a missionary here who is the size of a 10 yr old boy but is over 1 yr into his mission and all the elders just pick him up by his arms and carry him around it's so funny to watch. I'm sure he hates it but it's funny. 
I love you all and will let you know all about transfers this week as soon as I can! 
Sister Hansen 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 12

I honestly can't believe another week has come and gone already! This week was such a crazy week. We had our zone conference on Tuesday, which was so great. We have such great leaders here who are so inspired as to the direction of our mission. We are all striving to be more obedient missionaries to the rules in the white handbook. Obedience has been on my mind a lot because obedience is something I think is taken too lightly. Obedience is the base line of all, rules mean nothing without obedience and laws and obligations mean nothing as well. 
But on to the rest of the week. One of the rules we are striving to be better at is exercising daily. So on Wednesday, we started our morning with the new exercise Sister Dahle(our mission president's wife) gave to us and as we were finishing my companion passed out. We were all freaking out, but she remembers nothing but me talking to her as she was waking up. We had the President next door come and give her a blessing and I monitored her for the rest of the day, she mostly slept while I studied and took it easy. We took the next couple of days easy and so far nothing more has happened so hopefully it won't again. 
 Friday, I got to go on exchanges with Sister Lucillo. She is going home on the 22nd. I will miss her so much. She is such a great missionary. While we were out, she said she kept hearing the name Caron St. over and over in her mind and kinda brushed it off thinking it's not in the plan for the day. Then the voice got louder and said Caron St. Now!  So she said to me and the member who was working with us, lets go find a less active. She pulled out the sheet that had the less active names and addresses on them, and we set out to find the address. It took a while since the road isn't straight through. When we arrived, there was a man sitting on a balcony looking at us and two very large scary looking dogs behind the gate. We asked around before entering and finally braved the dogs and asked this man if he knew the name we were looking for. He asked us why and we told him we were missionaries from the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that he was a member we would like to meet. He said that was his name and that we could teach him but he didn't want to be forced to go to church and we again explained that we just wanted to meet him. It was really interesting to hear his story. He was baptized in 1970 when the naval base was active and he was taught by navy men. He was given an English BOM and taught that even if he didn't understand all that he was reading, he could pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He said he still had no doubt that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.Sister Lucillo asked if he believed that everything happens for a reason, he said yes and that that was the reason he let us teach him that day. All of this was in Tagalog but the strangest thing happened for me, I didn't understand what everyone was saying but whenever he spoke it was as if he spoke in English and I understood. Sister Lucillo shared a scripture and it was read in Tagalog so I really had no clue what was said but I felt that he needed to hear that God knows him personally so I testified of that, turns out that is exactly what the scripture said and I had no clue what was going on. We invited him to come to join us in church on Sunday. As we all left, we knew he would be there Sunday. He even told us he would come straight from his catholic service. We could not believe by the end of that appointment how strong the spirit was and how amazing it was to be doing the lord's work. So fast forward to Sunday, we got there a little late but he was not there. I sat by Sister Lucillo and silently was losing my faith that he would come, I thought he forgot and isn't going to show up, especially as conference continued. By the end of the first session I had pretty much given up hope that he was coming and as I stood to stretch at the end I turned around and there he was! I was so beyond overjoyed, I couldn't believe I lost my faith in him but he was touched and still came!!!! Sister Lucillo and I just hugged each other and were so beyond ecstatic. I was beaming all day yesterday! Sister Lucillo told me later that as we found him we had just been told that the baptism that had been planned for her last Saturday in the mission would be cancelled and she was frustrated to not get a baptism in her last area but that she learned its not all about baptisms its about finding the lost sheep. It was an amazing day.
 Then as we went out proselyting that day, we met three new investigators and as we gave the first lesson, I noticed one sister was very touched to the point that she was almost emotional, so I hope that I will have the opportunity to teach her the gospel and help to change her life. 
We went back to our apartment to get our sheets for PEC and were called out to by a man on a tricycle, neither of us recognized him but we went to talk with him. He is a less active. We went to contact him several weeks ago but he was either gone or not available. He was sitting there waiting for us and informed us that he wanted to be retaught with his family. I couldn't believe it, how often do you walk down the street, and have people tell you to teach them! It is so crazy how quickly the work is progressing here and everywhere. We don't always know our purpose here in each area of our mission but we do know that we have a purpose and I feel that this man was one of the reasons I was here was to meet him to give him a BOM in Tagalog and give him something that no one else could. I will never forget this man or my experience teaching him and I am so grateful for Sister Lucillo following the promptings she was given to meet this man. I love you all at home. I hope that all is well for you there especially in the spring time. For now I'll keep enjoying the heat here and the craziness of the Philippines. Until next week,
 Love Sister Hansen 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I received this photo from an elder couple who serves in the mission office. This was taken at a conference for a few of the areas. Sister Hansen is 3rd row from bottom, slightly to the right of the center, yellow dress. Her hair is down. Look at this amazing group of missionaries! 
So we have a chart to help the littles with the count down of the return of Sister Leticia Hansen. The chart says "Called to Serve". Each letter has little circles to put a sticker on to help with the count down. As you can see, the sister missionary had no face. Bria felt Teesh needed a face, so she drew it. I think it looks very complete, don't you? 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Week 11

Sorry about last week, the computer I was on just stopped working and froze. 
So much happened this week, it was so crazy. I told my housemates about April Fool's Day and they wanted to prank our Zone leaders. So, we made a plan that we would call them and pull a prank on them. It was so funny. The sisters were so excited, so on Wednesday we called them and Sister Aggasid told them that Sister Potestad and Sister Lucillo were fighting to the point that Sister Lucillo had her bags packed and was ready to leave her mission early. It was so cute because the Elders knew it was a joke but played along anyway. The sisters were so worried we would get in trouble but it turns out the Elders pulled worse pranks on each other. We also got a call later that day while we were out saying we needed to have a 72 hour kit now!  A  typhoon was on its way, we all thought ha ha joke-lang (your pulling our leg) but nope the member that was with us said, "No, it's true, there is a typhoon coming and should hit on Saturday". That freaked me out a little thinking, wow I am going to go through my first typhoon. So we spent most of that day getting me a 72 hour kit and preparing ourselves for the possibility of a typhoon and flooding. A couple days later we received a text that the storm had changed directions and would not come to Olongapo as planned. It was funny they say that the typhoon attacks them :) Instead it was just so so so windy here it made wearing a skirt difficult. So we had a lot of fun trying to get everything all ready for that. Luckily for me, I live somewhat inland and on the 2nd story of an apartment complex so we are above ground and have a 3rd floor. So it would have been unlikely we would have been evacuated. Then on Friday, we had our follow up training from President and Sister Dahle. It was so great, Sister Dahle compared these first 4 weeks to that of a potter who has just picked us, the clay, up and thrown us into this strange place and is molding us to then become something beautiful.  President Dahle spoke about the covenants we entered into at the temple and how those covenants we entered in should be the driving force for missionary work. Then at the end of our mission we are never released from the work that we have entered into for those covenants. It was so great to see all of the people from my district in Provo. I felt so bad for all those who had to travel.  Sunday we had spoken to our recent convert, Elizabeth. She is 17 and has her son Kalvin. She had never before known that he could receive a name and blessing so we worked so hard to get it all set up and then waited and waited and they were not coming. It broke my heart, we wanted this so badly to happen.  Finally, they came and our Branch President, who is great, let him receive a blessing. She was all smiles afterwards and Kalvin is always smiling. He is the cutest thing ever.  Elizabeth has a cousin who we have been teaching, she told us that her parents are now going to let her be baptized. I am thrilled. Since this week was Holy Week, we got to see several parades. It was so cool, I got a ton of pictures and as I was doing that I was swarmed with little bugs, it was awful. The bugs were crawling all over me. Then they never left me alone and they were crawling up my skirt and down my shirt it was so gross! But, I have pictures for you all now so you are welcome.
 I was told that I may see some people whip themselves this week but fortunately I did not. It was just so strange to not have people around all the time. Usually the streets are packed, the mall is packed, but instead they were all closed, chained up and the streets were empty, it was weird to see that. 
Tuesday is Zone Conference for me so we are going today to get new dresses for that. General Conference is this weekend. Also the lizard in the pictures lives in our home we named her Sister Lizzy and her friend Sister Lucy. Pict.101-103 is a tiny kitten I saw just laying in the streets. 127-128 5 day old ducklings 129-131 those are fish just swimming right next to our less actives house 132 is a close up of their cat the thing is so skinny! 135 l-r Me, Elizabeth, Angelica (Kalvin) Sister Aggasid. 
I love you all! Talk to you next week
Sister Hansen