Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WEEK 7: First Week in the Mission Field -- La Paz!

     I can’t believe our daughter is in Uruguay! It seems so difficult to wrap our minds around it. She has gone through a bit of a shock with both the new culture and with how difficult the work is, but she seems to be pulling through like a champ!   --Kent & Keisha

Hola Familia y Amigos!!! I’m In the Mission Field!!

Words cannot describe my happiness upon reading your letters to me. So many words of wisdom shared and answers to many of my prayers. I feel so blessed to have such great support from  the home base :) I heard a quote about pioneers the other day, "no task ahead of them was greater than the purpose driving them" something like that. That’s how I am feeling!

Uruguay! It is beautiful here!! The people are beautiful. The culture was a little bit of a shocker when I first arrived. Yet I have been adjusting with the help of my new compañera Hermana Phillips. 

She is incredible. I feel like we really have a lot to learn from each other. She keeps saying "Wow! You came born ready to serve in the mission field!” YEP! That’s me! Born ready to serve the Lord :D. I am amazed at her stamina and her dedication to the Lord--definitely admirable. The Lord knows me and her and I feel like we have truly been guided to be with each other.

MY first Area is LA PAZ!!! We are white washing the area, meaning we are the first in the area to be here and to present the gospel to these wonderful people. We have had many great experiences! I already and had my first full conversation the other day in SPANISH! Wahoo! :D. We have seen the gospel transform people’s expressions and attitudes. They are confused and annoyed at why we are talking to them, or such, and then when they hear our message the truth is testified and I know it is the Holy Ghost baring record to them! 

These past few days have been hard. I can see why people say it is the hardest thing they have done. Thankfully the Lord prepared me spiritually to handle the new form of exhaustion, trials, and emotions that have been hitting me forcefully the entire day. I am astounded at the immensity of these feelings, the exhaustion, the hunger... It has been something I didn’t realize was going to be this hard. I am grateful for the patience of my compañara as I sort through all these new emotions and new surroundings.

Thank you for your prayers and for your love that I know you are sending daily and hourly. I FEEL your hugs--especially yours mom. Oh, how I want one! To know that the world can stop spinning just for a second in that hug, and to feel safe--not having to think or be anything.

My companion and I have been talking about how this is a full time calling! The Lord knows we are imperfect, as Jeffery R. Holland said, "He deals with imperfect people all the time" (his talk was one that really stood out to me). The Lord just expects us to do our best--nothing more and nothing less.

As a zone we are doing a 40 Day "fast". What this means is that we have written down all those things that discourage us, that distract us, and that make us unworthy of the Holy Ghost. Then we are to fast and pray for strength. Then we break our fast and then for 40 days we commit to not doing anything on our “List”. Today is day 1 of 40 (and hopefully not doing it ever again ;) Thats the key! And I can tell you now that Satan has already tried hard to make me break that commitment. YET he shall not have place within me, I shall come off the conqueror!

Obedience. Within moments of meeting my mission president’s wife, Sister Armstrong, we talked about obedience. She wanted to hear my take on it. I was the last (ish) one of the Oros she talked with. I had been thinking a lot about this and in the moment I was talking to her these words came to mind, "Obedience is a deep inner commitment to yourself and an outwards commitment to the Lord". It is so true. You first MUST master yourself, and then show the Lord through your actions and controlling your thoughts (which produce your words & responses), and that in turn shows people who you really are. By our speech and how we hold ourselves, by how we act towards others—this all shows that we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

Attitude is everything!! Mind over matter --Seriously! I have come to the conclusion that I will do my best and that I will strive harder than I have ever done before to submit myself to God and his will.

My companion, Hermana Phillips said there are 4 types of missionaries. 1. The one that goes home because he is disobedient, 2. The one that goes home after his mission and applies nothing, 3. The missionary who says I’ll do the Lords will but after my mission I will do what I want to do, because I have given my allotted time to the Lord. OR 4. The missionary who serves God because he Loves God. This latter missionary will take everything he is and give it to God. This kind of missionary wears the badge in his heart. I hope to be the 4th kind.  I truly believe and testify that I have always been a missionary. Yes, the badge is a WONDERFUL opportunity to proclaim to the world that I AM A MISSIONARY! It is a continual reminder of my inner commitment to myself and a physical commitment to the Lord.

I, Kaitlyn Hansen, signed up for this wonderful mission. I know who I am. I know Gods plan. I will follow him in Faith! May he guide me as I learn this language and as I brave the rain storms of life. May He guide my companion and I´s paths as we find the souls we are prepared to teach. 

“Where Much Is Given – Much Is Required”

All my Love, 
Hermana Kaitlyn Hansen

Friday, April 12, 2013

The OROS Have Arrived!


Some photos of Kaitlyn in Uruguay & a quick note from her mission president!  The "OROS" have arrived (oros = the new missionaries) and have already been assigned & left for their new areas!

Dear Hansen Family,

            Tuesday we went to the airport in Montevideo, Uruguay, to pick up Sister Hansen and welcome her into our mission.  She arrived full of excitement and enthusiasm to get to work.
            We have spent the day getting to know her, and we recognized that she will be a great asset to us here in the mission.  We know that she will bless the lives of many wonderful people.

            Wednesday was transfer day and after meeting with her trainer, she headed off to her first area so that she could start ¨ [bringing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man¨.

            We are now sending you some photos that we took with her.  As you can see, she is extremely excited and ready to start.  We are so excited to have your daughter with us and hope that you receive this photo with excitement and pride in all that your daughter has done to prepare herself for the opportunity that she now has to serve the Lord for the next 18 months.

                                                                                                          The Armstrongs

Me & my new trainer companion! This is where we will be serving! My first area! Yeah!

The new Oros! Just arrived in Montevideo, Uruguay!

Me + Pres. & Sis. Armstrong

New Uruguay Hermana!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WEEK 6 -- 04/09/13

Wow! That went fast! Kaitlyn flew from Beunos Aires, Argentina to Montevideo, Uruguay yesterday, on April 9th. She spent almost 6 weeks at the MTC there.  Uruguay is not going to know what hit them!   

Hello Family & Friends!

Can you believe the spiritual upliftment that came to us this weekend from General Conference?! I am amazed by it and feel so blessed by the Lord. A renewal of strength, of happiness, of faith. I feel edified and uplifted. 

I feel like my Spanish is improving!! We leave at 4:30 am on Tuesday, April 9th, and I cannot tell you how excited I am to go. I packed my bags and they all are under 50 lbs!! WAHOO! :D 

Scripture of this week Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

I feel like so much has happened, so much growth has occurred since I last emailed you. MY NEW email/P-day is MONDAY!! :D 

I loved the package you sent me mom!! Thank you! I loved and very much needed the talk you gave me by Jeffrey r. Holland. I so far have been satisfied with the things I brought. Be happy FAMILY! I love you.


Be strong and of a Good Courage, BE NOT afraid neither be thou dismayed, for the Lord THY God is with you withersoever thou goest.

Hermana Hansen

WEEK 5 – 04/04/13

Hola Familia y Mi Amigos!

Te amo from Argentina! It’s my last letter before I reach the mission field! Excitement doesn´t even reach the feelings I am feeling!

This past week has been a lot more challenging. My companions and I have been having a few difficulties. Yet through the Lords will I feel I am being tested to see if I will apply the things I have been learning and gleaning from the scriptures. 

Kindness begins with me. As Steven R. Covey would say--be proactive not reactive. We do the acting, we are not the ones being acted upon. Lately I have felt prideful and determined to not forgive and allow my wounds to be healed. My roommates have done things I do not fully approve of in a missionary setting & mind set. They are good and happy girls, yet I feel at times we are in different books (not even really on the same page in our feelings, emotions, backgrounds, missionary ideas). Both my companions are very much a like and it is hard to be the one on the outside looking in. A few days ago I could count no more than 10 times Herman West turned and talked to me. It has been a definite challenge to RISE above and to try and not let it hurt & to show kindness anyway. It is hard to always be getting to know someone and they in turn are not really seeking to understand you. Perhaps I am too deep of a person? 

True listening may come from desiring to know someone better. I don´t enjoy it when people make others feel stupid for sticking up for what they believe in—so that has been hard. Or being criticized behind their backs and then it somehow gets back to the person and it may hurt them. Gossip travels FAST –esp. in small places like the MTC. I have seen its affects many times here and I can honestly say, it is a great rule to follow of not letting not your mind, nor tongue speak any guile towards any man. 

I feel like all the habits I worked on and broke before my mission are coming back ten fold and I have a constant battle inside my head. In my prayers I constantly am seeking strength from my father in Heaven. He knows me and the desires of my heart (D&C 6:17 I believe). I lately have been encouraging myself to see people as they may become! To focus on their strengths and to let what may offend me roll off my back. It has been HARD!! Yet so worth it. "A soft word turneth away wrath". 

I say to myself, "Let go of the pain of being different and set aside the pride of self-righteousness. Let the pan of hurt and the pride of not forgiving go first. There is a pain of not being understood and a pride of not allowing them in or the pride of no one can understand the person I am, etc. I am ashamed to recall these feelings—for I have pain, I have pride. May the Lord God assist me in becoming more what he would have me be. I desire to have no place within me for the "enemy of my soul" (2 Nephi?).

By the time I leave the MTC It will be EXACTLY 40 days since I arrived. According to religious symbols and the number 40 it has a lot of meaning. It is the number representing a period of trial and testing too. I have a new found connection and meaning now with this number. I also have a deeper understanding of 40 days--the length, the amount of change that can occur, habits made and broken, etc. I also have a new found appreciation for the Savior fasting for 40 days. Also since Easter is occurring, the remembrance of His birth, ministry, sacrifice, and resurrection is prominent in my mind! "This is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That He Lives! For we saw him on the right hand of God..." (D&C 76:22, 23).

Virtue, obedience, and diligence has been a main focus in my studies lately. "Seek learning even by study and also by faith." I have studied. I have prayed. Now it is time to have faith that the Lord will help me & all of us accomplish the things that He would have us accomplish. "If there is anything virtuous lovely of Good report or praise worthy we seek (Avidly act to find) after these things"!!! 

I had an epiphany…Your family understands who you are, what you like to do, etc. The new challenge and opportunity I give to you and to myself is to be yourself in a world of people who may not know who you are or what you are going through. Let your family in and give them a chance to understand and to be there for you. It is important to be yourself, to hold strong to what you know to be true, & to not to let others persuade you otherwise and to rise above the influence of the adversary. Be a light! Shake off the works of darkness and put on the armor of LIGHT (Romans 13)!

I love you all and would love to share with you this one last thing. I know God is the Eternal Father. He knows me, he loves me! He is in this work. He cares about each of us individually. In the tapestry of life, do not forget he sees the upper and I the underside. He has a purpose for me! I believe in him, I know that I cannot do this by myself, that I will always have him by my side as long as I am faithful. Sweet is the work--My God! My KING! My Aba!

I love this church. I love that God gives us weakness so that we may come unto Him, that he helps  us to be stronger. I know who I am! I know Gods plan. I will follow him in faith! I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, lives! And that he loves me! I know that he atoned for my sins, for my happiness, and for my opportunity to live with him again. I know this. I live this. I love this! May God be with you, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sincerely all my love to you and the Lord!
Hermana Kaitlyn Hansen

P.S I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! :D it is going to be so awesome!

WEEK 4B 03-28-13

Here is the second letter. I have to admit that I forgot about how much these missionaries talk and lament about the boyfriends and girlfriends they left behind when leaving for their missions. I have been reminded here how grateful I am that Kaitlyn left without being attached to anyone in particular. It is good to hear she is staying positive and doing so well.

Hola Mi Familia y Mi Amigos!!!!

I love this quote! "What we are is more important than what we’ve been and what we can become is more important than what we are.” I feel grateful for this incredible opportunity to serve a mission. I just received a letter from my mission president and his wife. I am so excited to go there. I feel like their words of wisdom towards all of us “Montevideoians” is pure inspiration. I am glad time goes by quickly in the MTC because URUGUAY here I come!!

The other night there was this incredible storm! The sun was setting and the clouds were of all shades! The lightning in its exactness spread across the sky, electrifying in its magnificent glory! Honestly I have never seen anything like it before in my life. (Mosiah 4:9)

Throughout this week I have found that the Lord has blessed me in many ways. I am grateful for the past challenges I have had and for the chance I have to grow up in the church. I feel as though my love for the gospel is still growing, yet my roots are deep. There are pros and cons to this.

We discussed this week what our first experience was like in the temple. I was surprised to hear some of their interpretations. To me the temple was connecting and uplifting, taking me higher and solidifying me to the most inner part of my being. For some of them it was different, many obstacles for them to overcome mentally-- thinking that we were a cult or something. They all see the beauty and wisdom in it now, and for this I am grateful. The Lord helps us in our own time and in our own ways. 

The topic of boyfriends and girlfriends has come up. I had a feeling that this was going to happen. In my district 7 out of 10 have someone waiting, or someone they truly care about, back home. I listened as they talked about them and how they met. Some stories I heard the whole thing, other stories just bits and pieces. I found that after we talked about it my district was unified a little more, yet talking about home was hard. I feel like my companions especially got more saddened by this kind of conversation. They become more irritable and there was more "teasing" in the classrooms. The thing I hear the most about in my MTC room or in side conversations is about boys. When this happens I sing a hymn in my head and press onward. I care about guys, sure, yet honestly I am grateful the Lord has answered my prayers and made it so I am able to give 100% to the Lord and not have to think about, or to have my thoughts torn away from what I am doing, by having a boyfriend back home.

The Spanish language is coming!! I am really excited to see what incredible potential I can have with this language. My new Latina roommates are incredible! One is from Peru and the other from Colombia! They are such sweet girls and they only speak Spanish! It is day one with them and already I feel way more confident with the language than when I got here. "PRAY always, that you may come off a conqueror, yea that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the Servant of Satan that do uphold his work" (D&C 10:5). Satan wants you to be discouraged. He DOESN´T want you to succeed. Stand tall, "Be NOT afraid, for the LORD thy God is with thee, wither so ever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9)

"Honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8). I have found Sundays to be something that we mentally shift and change for. Every day we walk down the same halls and go to the same rooms, yet the mind set changes on the Sabbath day. It is an even higher way of feeling and thinking. It is turning yourselves more towards God. I am grateful to already have this understanding of the Sabbath. Make it a different day, set aside yourself and keep always a remembrance of the Lords atoning sacrifice. This day is a beautiful day, it is the Lords day.

In the scriptures it talks about how Peter returned to their nets after the death and resurrection of Christ. Then Jesus comes unto his beloved friend and companion Peter and says, “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” Three times he says this. I sincerely believe that the Lord knows Peter and his heart, like he knows me. He knows that by asking him 3 times that this will help him understand better.  There is no chastising, there is no contention--just pure love. We talked about how we sometimes return to old ways? Do we return and fish after having felt the love and joy that sharing the gospel brings. May we leave our nets straight way and follow our Beloved Savior and become as the Apostle Peter or Paul have. " I have fought a good fight."…and know that we have done all we can do. Repent and come unto Christ, knowing that he is the Way the Truth and the Light.

May God be with you my dear dear family and friends! I send my biggest hug, my warmest smile, and my kindest words!! The Lord has given us so much. Allow the Holy Ghost to live in you. We are all children of God, apart of him lives in each of us!  All my love!<3

Your Daughter, Friend, and Sister,
Hermana Hansen

WEEK 4A – 03/28/12

Kaitlyn was given more time than usual to be able to write home and so she wrote two letters this week.  Here is the first of the two. She mentions how much she enjoys the little notes of encouragement at the end of this one. If you wish to send her a little message (1 to 4 sentences in length), as some of you already have in reply emails,  I am happy to attach these little notes to the letters I send her.  It looks like she will only be in the MTC for 5 ½ weeks total – it is all happening so quickly!

Hola Mi Familia y Mi Amigos! Te Amo!
I have only 12 days left in the MTC! Words cannot describe how fast time has flown, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." I feel like if we serve as companions and use our time wisely, the days will FLY by because every moment is precious. 
I am doing extremely well. Great news! Today one of our progressive investigadores (I.P) committed to baptism! I have been praying for a few days now (and will continue to pray) to know if the Lord will really express this beautiful truth to the heart of our investigators. As my companions and I talked with Tómas (our investigator played by our teacher who we practice with), the spirit was really strong! I kept feeling these promptings to give up looking for certain specific scriptures and then the prompting would be more like look in 2 Nephi, or just start flipping through Mosiah—and I found what I was looking for. Both scriptures shared today really helped our investigator!! I am so excited that the Lord was helping us learn, even if it was just practice. "I shall be on thy right hand and on thy left." (D&C 84:88).
I feel confident that each day if I give the language my best effort the Lord will be proud of me. I don’t expect to learn Spanish in 4 weeks, but I do expect to do my best! If each day I can look back and say, I have done all I can do, then what more could I have done? 
The MTC is incredible. The spirit is so strong. I have made friends with the Latino Chefs! LOL! We enjoy talking each day. They ask me things about myself. I find it is good practice. Even though every two weeks we get new Latino missionaries the Cooks always stay the same. They are wonderful people. Some live 2 hours away via bus and still they are here at 7:00am everyday. Wow! They are all members and I love the food they cook-- lots of meat, potatoes, and there is a salad bar every day. 
My schedule does not change from day-to-day. I wake up at 6:30 :) my alarm doesn´t even do it! I wake  up naturally now :)-- kind of neat. We eat breakfast when ever we are ready between 7-7:30, then at 8:00 we do personal study, 9:00 we learn how to teach better, at 10:00 we do grammar, 11:00 companion study, and at 12:15 Lunch (Almeruzo). After lunch more grammar and we do the TALL program (on computer for Spanish study), then Actividad Fisica time!! Lately we have been playing basketball--extremely awesome, it is co-ed and honestly it is so fun! After showering and such, we head back for more grammar study and/or gospel focus study. Then dinner is at 6:45 and afterwards Idioma (language) study till Planamentino at 9:00pm! That is my day, every day :) I quite enjoy it!
I will have gone proselyting in the Beunos Aires area a total of 3 times by the time I leave here. The people are wonderful. We have heard a lot about the new Pope. People here seem to have a lot of "pride" towards this because he is from Argentina.
I have gone every week to the temple! I am so excited to hear about Jerianne and Cheryl getting their endowments. The Lord is so good to us! And congrats to Karina and her dance competition! 
Also how fun that Uncle Ryan and his family will be living with us in our home. The Lord works in mysterious ways, mom :) It will be good to have their sweet little spirits in our home. I am excited for the opportunity for Kaleb to play more with the sweet little ones. Also it will be good for other reasons :) 
THANK You for sending all those little notes along about people who know me and who send their uplifting and encouraging messages! I feel your prayers.

Hermana Hansen