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

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