Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 22 & 23

We did not hear from Sister Hansen for two weeks due to several illnesses. Two weeks ago Teesh's companion wasn't feeling well so they came back to the apartment to rest. Within a few hours, all 4 housemates were all not feeling well and Teesh seemed to be the worst. The mission  president wife was contacted when Teesh's fever reached 103. A nearby neighbor took all 4 missionaries to the hospital. A kind Sister White held Teesh's hand while her blood was drawn and Teesh said she was not even coherent enough when the IV was placed. Blessing on both accounts as Teesh has a fear of needles.
Within a few days, Teesh was checked for appendicitis and amoebas. Both tests came back negative, thank goodness. The other sisters all had parasites but Teesh continued with symptoms with very little relief of discomfort.
Day 6 Teesh was released from the hospital and transferred to the  MRC(Missionary Recovery Center) it is located in Manila as part of the Manila MTC. Teesh said there is a Dr from the United States who is called to serve the entire Philippines. He wants to look Teesh over himself and try to get to the bottom of why after this long the symptoms still persist.
It was great to email with Teesh for a little while. She seems upbeat and optimistic. She appreciates all your prayers on her behalf and is excited to get back out there to serve the Lord.
Sister Hansen sends her love and hopes everyone is doing well. Congrats Nathan and Tina on an adorable baby girl and she loves the name you chose.
Hoping next week all will have returned to normal!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 21

Well, no fires in the church this week luckily!  We had a week of finding new investigators! In this week alone we met and taught 22 new investigators. 2 days in a row we taught 8 investigators. I have never heard of anything like that before. This Sunday, we had an area broadcast where we heard from Elder Neil L. Anderson and several other General Authorities. The message they had for us is we need to be willing to be the one to stand up and do something. They said multiple times will you be the one? We all have the opportunity to stand and to be the one to help another and its such an amazing gift we have all been given. 
We had exchanges this week but since I am so new here we just had the STL come and go on exchanges with Sister Restorque. So she got to see our day to day here. That was fun! But I am so glad I wasn't on exchanges I am still turned around in this new area. Once I get to some areas, I am OK, but sometimes they all look the same. There are a lot of kids here and since I am sometimes the only white/red person around the kids all follow and say Barbie Barbie. The kids all joke with my last name too and say Sister Hansel (Hansel is a brand of crackers like ritz crackers). I love being around more kids here they are the best! It's a lot easier to practice my new sentences on them because they are very honest with you. If you can understand what they respond to you. The language is still hard but I am taking it one sentence at a time to really know what I am saying to people. It's a strange thing to try and figure out the things you really want the person to hear and then to say it as simply and clearly as you can. It makes it really hard sometimes to do that but at the same time it really makes you question what is the most important that these people need to hear. Do they really need the extra fluff or do they just need to know that Jesus Christ is their Savior. I never realized before how much of the gospel got so confusing to all of us because we want more. The gospel really is simple and it is meant to be that way. The gospel is meant for everyone old or young smart or not. The gospel is all encompassing and is truly the greatest thing we have. The gospel really does bring us the most peace of mind and the best comfort in the world. I love that the church doesn't change whether you are in Salt Lake City or you are in the Philippines, it is the same.
 It's such a comfort to me to think that every Sunday I get to participate in the same sacred ordinance of the sacrament here that you do as well, you just take it 13 hours later ;) 
I love being here and having the opportunity to touch the lives of those around me. I have the same opportunity here to be an example of our Savior, Jesus Christ that you do at home and it is such a great opportunity. To learn of Him and to be able to show others the things he does for each of us all the time. This week the phrase I have really been touched by is that Jesus Christ is the center of our message. It really is true that Jesus Christ is the reason we do all that we do as missionaries. Not for members not for numbers but for Jesus Christ. All we do is help those around us see the example of Jesus Christ and teach them of His gospel and plan for us. I am so grateful and glad for my opportunity to serve as a servant of my Savior Jesus Christ and to help those around me better know Him. I love you all! and hope your week is amazing! 
Sister Hansen  

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Week 20 Olongapo Branch 3 Pilar 1

Transfers this last week were crazy! If you didn't hear, I was transferred! I have moved south for rainy season ( I would say winter but it's hotter here in the south) So, unfortunately I am not able to kill the rat but I left Sister Walker and Sister Potestad in charge of killing the thing! 
I was in shock at being transferred. I did not expect it would be me leaving and I was the only one that left. The first thing I was told about my new area was that there are more bugs and more rats here! But so far I haven't seen any rats just flying cockroaches everywhere. So we keep the doors closed at night to keep them out. 
Pilar is going to be a lot of work for me even more than Olongapo city was. We have a lot of work to do to organize the branch here and to continue and teach investigators and work toward a more organized area. I think I will be able to pick up this area a lot quicker than my last because there are a lot less barangi (or neighborhoods) The hardest part will be the language. In this zone, I am the only white person, there are foreigners but they all look either samaon or Filipino.  I will get the opportunity to play the piano here. I guess only very few people know how to play so I am the designated pianist for church. Our church is tiny! There are 3 rooms, the chapel, and two classrooms and the baptismal font is outside! We had quite the experience yesterday there. We had our Branch Council Meeting and we kept hearing this noise coming from one of the rooms. We figured it was just a kid still in the church playing. The member of the branch presidency then turned his head around the corner to see what really was going on and they saw a spark. The ceiling fan had caught fire! So we all ran outside and leaders started looking for water anywhere they could find it, One old Tatay even got in a tricycle and went to go find help, but came back with the police or Pulis as it is spelled here :) We all had a good laugh that the police showed up to help us put out a fire and that the church almost burnt down. We made sure that President Dahle was informed of this and that only minimal damage was done to the building itself. The news here spread like wildfire and everyone knew so quickly we all had some good laughs about it all. I am going to make sure to take lots of pictures of this new area for you all because its more like what you think the Philippines are, rice fields, and being in the middle of nowhere. All the work we have to do here in this branch makes me feel so blessed to have the organization we have in Salt Lake.  I am determined to bring the organization that I can here to leave this area much better than I found it! I'll get lots of pictures for next week so that you can all see my new area.  Already, I have cute little kids always coming up to me and hugging me. I didn't get that in my last area, so I am excited for the new opportunities.  Just so you know, our church attendance was only 70, definitely not the 200+ I am used to in Olongapo. One day we will get there, we will have to add to the church building in order to fit everyone! that can be our goal :)  It's actually kinda funny this new area of mine, I am actually in Sister Lucillo's last area before she came to Olongapo for her last transfer. I am replacing her trainee from 6 months ago but who would have thought right? 
Hope all is going well with you all at home that you all are being watched over and protected. A special Happy Birthday to a little 6 yr old girl on Friday! Happy Birthday to you, Ada Rae! Have fun and go do something together. It's independence day here in the Philippines so I bet it will be a big celebration here just for you Miss Ada Rae. Have fun with your little gifts from Elder Longson, I have some of the kiskis ( they are the small beads, with the terrible English instructions) sitting on my desk so I have some too! In the instructions I sent I said a 2 L bottle, it may need to be bigger or less water. But have fun with those they are so cool looking! I hope you have fun with them and with your lego person. 
Love you all,
Sister Hansen