Monday, July 29, 2013

WEEK 21 – “So Great a Cause as This!”

Hello Dearest Familia y Amigos!

It is so wonderful to read your letters! I am so grateful for the opportunity to write you all today. This week, and others, has just flown by. I cannot believe that I have spent 5 months on this mission already. This week came with different challenges, and the challenges of the coming week are going to be different still, yet my faith in God feels stronger and better. My love for this gospel is growing and changing, and I feel His angels around me every day. Sometimes I look back and realize He was there--walking the dusty roads of Yerbal with us. The more I ask Him questions, wait upon the Lord, and allow this gospel to shine through me, the more the answers come, the more our paths are lead in the right direction, and the more miracles happen.

This week was not monumental in baptism or people keeping their commitments, but it was still a good week. I admit it has been tough. The principle of agency has really beaten us down, yet I thank the Lord for preparing my companion and I to overcome this in hopes that this coming week we can mejorar nuestra compañerismo en la mejor manera (enhance our partnership in the best way). OH lol! Disculpe (excuse/pardon me). I am so use to thinking in Spanish. We are trying to better our companionship and the way we teach.

This past week I spoke, wrote, and studied EVERY DAY in SPANISH! Today is my English day. Starting tomorrow I am studying, speaking, learning, and thinking only in Spanish! The LORD is really helping us grow from doing this kind of intense study. He is changing our lives and I know that he is preparing the people for us. It is up to us to find them.

So many hearts, like Alma and Amulek, are hard. I found strength in Alma 37:33 hasta el fin (until the end). It really did make an impact. I am so grateful for the words of the scriptures. They help me in so many ways.

Lately I have had a little doubt enter my mind. Thanks be to the Lord for helping me over come it. I am on my way to understanding more as time goes on. I have researched for 6 days in anticipation to finding my answer. Last night, I made my doubt into a more specific question. He answered me specifically last night. I am working on breaking down my uncertainties into specific questions. It was hard to jump into the answers and really listen. When I decide to truly listen the Lord speaks peace and calms my fears. He helps me remember what I have learned. 

The principles found in "Lord, I believe" by Jeffery R. Holland have helped me immensely. To hold the (knowledge or) ground that you have already won (or attained), to fan the flames of your faith, to put forth your declaration of faith instead of your declaration of doubt. It has been incredible to see Ether 12:6 work in my life. I have received a stronger witness, thanks be to the Lord, after the trial of my faith.

Ether 12:6 is a scripture to highlight for Yerbal. It is tough here, yet I know the Lord is helping us and we will receive a witness after the trial of our faith. So MUCH is being required of missionaries, of members, and of the principle faith – here and everywhere. Testimonies alone are not enough. It takes a true conversion of the heart. I thank the Lord for the opportunities to be more converted in His ways.

May the Lord bless you all,
Hermana Hansen

Monday, July 15, 2013


Hello Dearest Familia y Amigos of Mine!!

Thank you for writing me this week! It was good to read the words you wrote. I am so happy for Regina and her success! What blessing to her family. I know I have enjoyed the way she writes. She has a gentle and intelligent air to the way she writes. I like that. I hope to read her other books when I return. And thank you for sharing about Benoit´s sister! She sounds crazy WONDERFUL! lol We all love Benoit! lol How fun to get to know his sister.

This week has gone by in a wonderful way. I finally feel adjusted to missionary life. I live, breath, think, dream, and talk about the mission. My companion before was really quite "trunkie" (someone who thinks a lot about home). It feels like there is a higher standard where I am serving now. There are amazing things happening too. Through faith and trust in God hopefully we will see positive results and help more people attain the wonderful and sacred covenant of baptism. I have felt and seen miracles this week!

There was this one moment this week when I was talking with two men about the gospel. They were very religious and opinionated. They had talked to missionaries before and I didn´t really understand half of what they were saying, but I kept a prayer in my heart and relied on the promptings of the Holy Spirit. One of the "problems" they seemed to have with Joseph Smith was that he could have interpreted the words of God--translating the Book of Mormon differently --than the Lord would have wanted. I compared that to Moses and how he talked with God face-to-face LIKE Joseph Smith did.  Moses was given a higher law, yet the people weren’t ready. I phrased a question, “Do you think that Moses misinterpreted the 10 Commandments which is the foundation of religion on this earth?” They were surprised. They believe strongly in the bible and the 10 commandments, yet lol when they didn´t answer. I looked straight at them and said, “Moses didn’t misinterpret God’s word, and neither did Joseph Smith”.

As we continued to talk with them they asked me a question, the only part I understood was about the Holy Ghost.  The words came like a sun rising. I felt the words enter my mind and a page in preach my gospel came into my mind. A lightning of thought streaked across my brain. I talked about how the spirit prompts us that things are true. It is there to bear witness. Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is when it is able to dwell in you and become apart of your being and a guide for your life. It can only come through someone holding the authority of God and after you are clean through the covenant of baptism you can receive it. I was still unsure If I had answered his question, yet I turned and asked, “Did I answer your question?” He eyes were surprised and he commented that I had answered it sufficiently. He was a little taken back and SO was I--quite honestly. It was really a great experience.

This week my Zone Leaders started something called FUEGO EN 33. This is when we have a goal and we watch as fire for the gospel message is sparked in different areas in Trenta Tres! These goals are stretching us each day to reach them, have faith, and work hard!!! Honestly I have never felt so tired at the end of the day. IT FEELS SO GOOD! This work is incredible!

Last night the Fuego Meta was to place 3 fecha bautizmals. It was the end of a long week, we had worked hard, and honestly I was exhausted. When we received this text, my companion and I could not help but feel a little overwhelmed. We had less then 3 hours to find 3 people and help them to get ready for baptism. We went to a quiet place and said a prayer and then went forth diligently upon promptings. The faith of my companion as she offered a heart-felt prayer, with directness and trust—was honestly a beautiful experience. 

As we walked we talked with a lot of people. The first person not interested. Could it be, the second person? We talked with him. He knew a boy in the Barrio de Obolisquo who was serving right now his mission in Brazil. He listened to our message. We got his directions and made an appointment. It went really well... Then we continued to walk on.

Later we encountered two girls. We stopped and talked with them. The beginning of the conversation was a little shaky but as we pressed on they listened, we gained their respect and both felt the spirit. They both agreed to be baptized on the 28 of July!! The Lord had answered our prayers. I waited for disappointment to set in. We had worked and we taught with the Holy Ghost, we were so close to the Fuego! Yet even though the first boy had not accepted baptism... disappointment never came. It was amazing I was instead filled with love and gratitude to my Lord and God. For all that he had done for me. I am so grateful for the faith of my companion and for our diligence. I know the Lord heard and answered our prayers last night.

In 33 my Líderes de Zona are Elder Acosta y Elder Marroquine. I think you are familiar with them and their outstanding personalities. Their faith has transformed my mission. Their example has changed me and encouraged me to be ever closer to my Savior. They held a conference that was inspiring--teaching us about faith and repentance. It was an incredible conference. They teach with the spirit. They inspire my companion and I, the other Elders, and the rest of us to become all we can through the Lord. I am so grateful to be here on this mission! I feel empowered and I feel finally, YES this is what it means! This is how I desire to be! Yes Missionary work is an eternal Principle!

I had the chance to give a talk in Church yesterday. It went really well!! I am grateful for the opportunity to have given my testimony about "Every Member a Missionary". The words came through good preparation and feeling the Lord helping me. My confidence is gaining. I am grateful for this chance to grow in another language. Thank you mom for encouraging me to keep working hard!! Lol I needed that! <3

Blessed be the Lord. He is the way the truth and the Light! I LOVE this Gospel! It is amazing 70,000 MISSIONARIES and GROWING!!! ¡¡¡¡¡¡VAMO ARRIBA!!!!!!!

The Lord is my light! May He be with you! And as this week presents it’s challenges, may we over come them with faith and trust in our loving Heavenly Father.

Hermana Kaitlyn Hansen

Friday, July 12, 2013



Hello Dear Family & Friends,

It feels so good to write you all today! I send my warmest hugs and my biggest smile to all of you! The Lord has really blessed me. The great thing (and the challenging thing obviously --yet lets not focus on that) is that with every new area and companion, you can start a-new. I have felt the redeeming power of the Lord as I am trying to set new goals and habits for this mission. 

My new companion is awesome! Her name is Hermana Peterson. I hope to get a photo for you all next week. (My camera broke... lol of course it did.) Our new area is considered one the hardest in the mission. Mom you remember that story about the guy that was going to Uruguay in the Mcdonald’s drive through? Well, we are good friends now and he is in the Secretary position right now. He told me that Yerbal of  Trenta Tres Uruguay is considered one of the hardest areas... Well, watch out Yerbal because Hermana Peterson and Hansen are ready and gearing up to build a solid foundation!

Hermana Peterson is like a mixture between Lisa Reid and Joe Stack... hahaha!! She is so unique and has a natural talent for learning the language. I seem to have a natural understanding of teaching (no where near perfect yet), but that seems to be a strong area for me. I am grateful for her positive and ready to work attitude. She had a hard companionship last transfer and we both feel so grateful for this change!! Our companionship is practically all Spanish speaking and so we are both progressing and helping this ward move forward. Right now only 37 members attend regularly…and this is out of 256 members! Yikes! MEMBERS ARE SO IMPORTANT—especially these 37! They are doing all they can, yet the Menos Activos (less actives) are really hard headed.... It is going to take a while, but with the Lord’s help all things are possible! VAMO ARRIBA!

I love my new Zone and district leaders. Wow! I have never met men like them in my life. I feel so grateful and blessed to have their example in my life. I have never seen the way these Elders teach. I could almost picture the Savior being a part of their lessons. They have the spirit with them, they teach and they love. They have 100% obedience 100% and trust in God and 100% faith in the principles of the Gospel. I hope to obtain a photo of them as well. Seriously! I count them twice when I say my prayers of gratitude. Yes, the area is hard, yet I know God’s angels are beside us!

Mom I received your packages! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your letter. mmm Thank you. :´] you are the best mom! Thank you for the vitamins, for the bag, for the thoughts, for all you do for me and for our family.

Daddy! Thank you for all that you do. For loving mom! Thank you for serving a mission. When I have to walk up a hill I remember the story of your companion working off the "odd thing" he ate and I smile. Haha! 

Karina, thank you for your love for your prayers, and for telling me everything just as if I was there. LOVE YOU!

Kaleb, what a wonderful young man you are becoming. Thank you for your message about looking up! I love you. Thank you, you are rockin’ awesome!

Kimberli! I am so glad you had the opportunity to see our family! What a blessing. I hope you enjoyed it for the both of us :P ;D <3 Mom said something about you coming back to Utah? Tell me more.

To all my friends, thank you for your examples in my life!!!!! Thank you for your support. Thank you for all that you do in your home wards, for all the blessings you bestow and do for others. God sees you. He knows you! Each of us are Children of God. The closer I am to the Savior the more I see this. Weaknesses are a part of this life. And yes, trials can make or break us, yet if we remember the true principle of Love and look to God in every thought, nothing is impossible with God.

Thank you mom for your updates about home! Thank you for sharing the challenging RM companion stories from others with me. I feel not so alone now. I try to remember that “what we are is more important than what we´ve been, and what we can become is more important than what we are!”  If you have time look up Phillipians 1:4-7.

This is the Lords Work!!!! 
Hermana Hansen


WEEK 17 – “We Are Called to Serve”

Dearest Familia y Amigos!

WOW! It is sooo incredible! KARINA YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING GIRL!!! The people of Ecuador are so blessed to have you come! This work is so incredible. That mission conference yesterday was amazing!! I felt so blessed and yes, members make all the difference. If we don´t have a “missionary pro-active ward”, we won’t have as much success. We need members to have the spirit of love in our wards and to have a desire to share this love and light with others. When there is no love, then there is more room for offenses to happen and problems.

My companion and I had a baptism this week!!!!!!!!!!! Jessika Yaninia Marero Barrios!! She is one incredible girl! I am so grateful that she has made covenants with God. The reality of this whole baptismal process has really helped me see the value and importance of this church in every aspect of our lives. The water was freezing for Yaninia -- poor thing. Also, the level of it was below her knees because we forgot to assign someone to fill up the font. Oops! So she was freezing and then the drop for full immersion into the water was too much. She freaked out a little and her foot popped out and her head didn´t go fully under. W

When one of the priests finally did baptize her he literally had to hold her down because she would come popping up so easily. There was a moment after her first time down where she was literally frozen and she was breathing slowly and she hesitated for a long time. Her first look was one of, “I don´t know if I can do this?!" and then she had this total change come over her face, "Yes, I can do this!!" This gospel means so much to her already! 

On Sunday she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Her smile was indescribable. She is already talking about doing baptisms for the dead for her mother who died a little while back.  She talks about missionary work and how she wants her friends to feel what she feels!! She has expressed a desire to serve a mission like us too. She really loves Hermana Calderòn and I.  I feel so blessed to know her. Generations are impacted because of her decision Friday to be baptized. This church is so amazing. (There was a few things that happened and she was sadly not baptized with the others in the stake center like we had planned, but it was a special night and we made it all about Yaninia.)

OH MY GOODNESS Mom you are an angel sent from heaven! I have always known this. Thank you for all your updates. About Jaely, Sarah Simmons, Jessica Davis, Rachel Andersen, Freddy, and so many more! Thank you so much!!!! For all you are doing. WOW what a life you have! How wonderful that you are doing so much for so many mom. Seriously you are SO AMAZING! Thank you for helping Jaely. I am so PROUD OF YOU  MY DEAR BELOVED FRIEND--Jays you really are amazing. Keep going I love you. Jessica D. and I hope you like living in Utah! And Freddy... I pray that my letter finds him. The words I wrote were for such a time as this..... please mother, put his name in the prayer roll... he is such a good soul. The Lord knows Him. He needs God’s light in his life and I hope he finds it.

This past week has been crazy busy. We had the wonderful opportunity and blessing to be part of two open houses in other mission areas of Uruguay. This is where people come and go through a "tour-like” setting where they come to understand more about the basic beliefs about our church. I have seen so many miracles.  I have seen people’s lives change and a sense of understanding about who they are and what they are looking for through this experience. I feel so blessed to be a part of this church. This church is so incredible. Every aspect changes and influences lives in positive and beautiful ways especially when done the way God intended for them to be done. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity my district and I had to clean the temple today. The lady was so wonderfully nice. We were able to walk into different rooms. There was even an opportunity to enter the celestial room. We were wearing white janitor outfits to do the cleaning. I felt a sense of peace there. He sent his angels round about me. I felt beautiful...I felt whole. I thought about how one of my companions has been beaten and battered by the world in her life and I was hoping she was feeling the comfort and peace of the temple. I felt like there were people in the room comforting us and taking away our burdens. I felt the pure love of Christ swell in my heart. It was an experience I will never forget.

I send my biggest smile and warmest hug! I LOVE YOU GUYS so much. I am so grateful for so many things. God be with you! We each are called to serve!!!

Hermana Hansen


WEEK 16 – “Because I Have Been Given Much”

Hello Dearest Family & Friends!

I am so grateful for your letters and photos! LOVE YOU! SO many beautiful smiles and so many awesome moments shared, thank you so much!! It was so great to see my friends photos too!

This week has been very successful. My companion and I are working hard and for the most part we are on the same page. My Spanish grows daily and I feel like we are really connecting with the ward. There are over 700 members here in La Paz, Uruguay, but not all are attending church. Part of our mission this week (and probably for a long time afterwards) will be to reactivate members. We are doing what we can to help them remember their true testimonies of Jesus Christ, to strengthen these testimonies, and to help them see what a difference it makes to attend and partake of the Sacrament and to enjoy the blessings of gospel. 

My companion, Hermana Calderon, is a good teacher and she has many strengths, and we are learning to work out our differences. Lately she has been letting my take the lead in our teachings & lessons! We have finally accepted that we are really quite different people in our personalities, but we can still learn things from one another. 

This scripture came to my mind a lot this week, "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32)

Each day I feel that I understand the vision of this mission more and I understand what I am supposed to be doing. By chance we went to the temple this week with our investigators. The mission President gave a great lesson about the temple and the plan of salvation. It was so wonderful to step onto the temple grounds. I was able to leave the burdens of the world behind, there were no temptations, and I felt whole and eternal. It was a wonderful feeling.

Afterwards I had the opportunity to converse with President Armstrong. We talked about the problems I was having with my companion. He gave me a whole new perspective. I even felt self-centered part way through our discussion and asked for his forgiveness for my short-sided views. Afterwards I talked and shared some things with a wonderful Hermana here in Uruguay, Hermana Marz. She commented to me about me being stronger and that is why I was given someone who needs my strength. That was also a new way of thinking about it and working through it.

Yaninia is progressing!!! Her baptism is this Friday!! She is getting baptized in our “zone wide baptism”. This is where all the missionaries gather with those who are ready for baptism and we all do a service together!! This time we have 18 who are ready! It will be a night to remember. I can hardly wait to see them ALL IN WHITE!!! :D How wonderful! The Lord is in this work!  I love it here in Uruguay!

Hermana Kaitlyn Hansen


WEEK 15 – “Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer”

Hello Dearest Family & Friends!

Wow what a week!! So much has happened and I hope I can adequately describe the events. Some tears have been shed and hugs exchanged as the announcement was made that our dear Mission President Armstrong will be leaving the mission due to the health of his wife. We found out after I wrote to you last week and now the news has really set in.

At first I was in denial and shock. I didn´t know how to take this, nor how it would affect my mission. My companion began to fuss and talk about how she couldn´t “do” her mission without President Armstrong. He really has worked with her a lot and I know that there are few concerning issues that have come to the surface since I have been her companion, but her actions helped me choose quickly which side I was going to be on with all of this --complaining or understanding. It was still painful to come to terms with the words, "The Lord’s will be done" and I have cried about it, but I know the Lord does things as they need to be done—in His time and in His way. 

The Mission President and his wife mean so much to me. I remember the first time I met them. They greeted us as we got off the plane and their looks of reassurance and welcome hearts to our wonderful mission were exactly what I needed. I knew I would be loved by them and that I could grow in this atmosphere of security and peace. During my first night in Uruguay I was getting ready for bed and had a feeling to go into the living room and there was Hermana Armstrong. I felt like I wanted to be near her.

I listened to what she was saying and the direction she was giving to the other elders for the following day. It was wonderful to just be in her presence. A scripture comes to mind as I look back on that experience, "Did not our hearts burn within us as [she] did sit and talk with us and share scriptures with us?" (Luke 24). I feel so honored to know them and to have experiences with them that I will hold and treasure. Our new Mission President is President Newsome. His trainer in the mission field was President Armstrong!! Cool, eh? They both served in Uruguay, Montevideo Mission. 

Things have really progressed here in La Paz, Uruguay. I am grateful for this. The Lord really helps us and directs us if we live worthy of having the Holy Ghost as our companion. We have one girl who is so ready for baptism and she will be baptized on the 22 of June! Her name is Yaninia (Sh-nine-ah). She is 17 and wow what a great girl she is! Our ward was really accepting of her and I know the Lord lead us to find her. We have also encountered four more potential baptisms by the end of June! May the Lord guide us and help us with these investigators. He “Knows” them—He really knows them! We only know them for but a small moment and we are here to serve them & help them find Him.

We have yet a new companion here with us in our little family of La Paz --lol. Hermana Phillips has yet a new oro to train!! Hermana Spradlin left for the other mission this last week and we have a wonderful new addition to our home, Hermana Hatch. NOW GET THIS—Ha! Ha! I honestly am amazed by this. While I went to school at BYU-Idaho she was my neighbor in Lamprecht Hall during spring semester!! Can you believe what a small world it is?! It is so cool! The more we have talked, the more I have realized how she really is a great person and someone I can see myself being friends with for a long time. 

Today (P-day) we have spent time getting to know one another in casual-awesome way! Karina, you know how we have laughed and got into the horoscope things, well :P haha she is born in January, so “naturally” we are getting along, both being Aquarius’s and all. :) Karina, I don´t know if you were praying for me to find a bosom friend, but I think this girl might be that “gold” I have been hoping for and waiting patiently for. How fun!! I love Hermana Janessa Hatch. We both admitted that the semester we met was not a good time in our lives and that we are grateful to get to know the more experienced and mission selves that we are today!! The Lord is so good to us!! :D I feel so blessed!

I have had a lot of time to ponder this week. We have a lot of investigators that are biblically astute! I have been trying to read the bible every day and to get more familiar with it. Any way, I felt prompted in a charla (lesson) the other day to share about the history of the Bible from the background I have studied. It was wonderful to find words come to my head--words I didn´t think I knew-- and explain how the whole history of the world was involved in preparing the people to receive the Book of Mormon as a companion and another testament of the Bible and Jesus Christ. I went on to explain how the religious world was ready for the Restoration.

This experience more deeply solidified my testimony and I have a greater love and understanding for the saints who lived during the times of the New Testament and for the sacrifice made by my ancestors—and all the pioneers and Joseph Smith. How incredible this gospel is. How great is our purpose. How wonderful the Glory of God is!

Samuel Merrill shared a scripture with me that I would like to share with you. Alma 26:16 "Therefore, let us glory, yea we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his longsuffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." What a beautiful scripture this is.

Kaleb, you said something that I like a lot with your comments about kicking against the pricks—in Acts 9:5 where it mentions this, Saul was learning that his actions were harming himself more than anyone else. When we fight against what is right, we hurt ourselves the most. I too have learned that it is important to heed the promptings of your conscience and as it says in the quote at Mt. Vernon “conscience is a part of heaven to guide us". This is SO TRUE! I love this and thanks for sharing your wisdom little bro!! <3

I love this work. Hopefully the lessons will go well this week! And may God be with you. He is here beside me, my Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:88). Love it!

Hermana Hansen


WEEK 14 – “Nearer My God To Thee”

To my awesome Family and Friends!

You guys are seriously the best! I have felt your prayers and your love in my life so much this week and I hope that I continue to grow in gratitude daily. The power and reality of this gospel is so beautiful and divinely inspiring. I feel honored to be serving full-time and blessed to catch glimpses of the divine in moments when I least expect it. 

This week I feel as if I have grown in a beautiful new way. I feel like the Lord has heard and answered my prayers. 

While studying one morning I was thinking about my companion. She has been experiencing difficulties with her health. I was thinking about how she looks different than her photos of when she first arrived. I was thinking. This caused me to ponder on who I am going to be in the future and what I may look like? Who will I be, or represent, in the photos one year from now?

I am no longer so much like the bright-eyed & naive girl that I was while living in Utah. And actually the person and perspective I have now is preferred over that girl. I am grateful for the changes that have already happened and that will continue to happen. I am grateful for the opportunities that are now at my finger tips—opportunities that were not there when I was living my every day life in Utah. It is reminding me that by serving a mission, and having the opportunity to experience another culture and people, I am becoming more than I could have become if I hadn´t served. 

In a recent conference with the other missionaries, we were asked a question in context with the Plan of Salvation. What is our motive or goal here on this earth? My first thought was to live and do what I need to, to return and live with God. Then I realized that it is more than this. It is to become something so much more than we could have become without this experience. It is a chance to prove ourselves, to rely even more fully upon the Lord. It is an opportunity to become more like our beloved Heavenly Father. We lived in His presence and we knew, and know, that if we desire to progress it is through this mortal life. It is up to each of us to live, to learn, and to become more than we could have ever done alone.

I testify that we are not alone in this mortal journey. I feel the angels and the hand of God guiding our paths, helping me (us).  It is helping us to find those ready for the gospel. We do our part and God has promised to do His. This work is beautiful. It is life changing! I know that I will never be the same because of it. I know that with or without this name tag on my chest that I am a daughter of God, a representative of Jesus Christ, a member of this church, and a true servant of the Lord. I am not perfect. I have flaws. I thank God, my family, and my friends for your love and forgiveness. We are all in this together. We are trying to overcome the adversary together. 

What a beautiful and glorious foundation I have received in my life. I am so grateful to be born into a family where the gospel was fully apart of my life. Where knowledge and talents were fostered and encouraged to be expressed. We learned freely. The countless hours of support, aide, and the many precious family memories are incredibly valuable to me and I find myself more grateful than ever for them while serving on my mission. I am who I am because of this gospel, because of my education, and because of all the things my dearest wonderful family has done for me!

My cup runneth over. There was a moment recently when I felt so much gratitude for my blessings, enough to overwhelm me and make me cry for a few minutes.  I also had a pang of sorrow for my cello this week when a viola soloist entered the chapel this past Sunday. Oh how I miss my cello!! I miss our times together and the timbre of the ringing strings! I miss the vibrations against my chest and the unifying calm of the divine sounds. Thank you Mom and Dad for the opportunity to learn such a incredible instrument!!

God lives and loves us!! May we all draw nearer to our God is my prayer and may God be with you where ever you may be!

Hermana Hansen


WEEK 13—“That God Sent an Angel to Watch Over Me”

Dear Dearest Family & Friends!

Honestly I would not have it any other way, you guys inspire and uplift me every week. I feel so honored to know such great people and to feel of your love. Honestly you guys are the greatest!

This week has presented a whole lot of new challenges. We have a new addition to our little house. She is an oro, a new sister missionary, and she was in the MTC for only 4 weeks, but “WOW!” Her spanish is good! This is probably because her mom is a Spanish teacher and she has spoken it for 8 years already. LOL Still, I am amazed at her language skills and have tried not to get down on myself for still not knowing the language very well. She really is such a sweet girl and I see so many similarities in the both of us. At first I was trying to relate in every possible way with her and then I decided to just be my own person and not compare and she then began to try and relate with me in every possible way. This has been interesting. I am trying my best to love her and not compare our different missionary experiences—it is best this way.

This week we had two awesome activities! A fiesta with Kiko and an outdoor service project. The first, the fiesta with Kiko…LOL he is CRAZY! I invite you all to look him up on Youtube. My companion, Herman Calderon, says that Kiko is identical to the original Juan Carlos  and he is a member of the church. He agreed to come and throw a party for us! It was great fun and I was pretty embarrassed when he called on me to be a part of his act. Before I knew it I was puffing my cheeks up and sticking out my tongue… BAHAHA! My companions died laughing. I did too, even though my face was tomato red. But, we gained a lot of references from that party and we had a lot of positive experiences with non-members! Another bonus is that we unified our ward more with this fiesta!

The other service project was helping an elementary school with gravel, some yard work, and taking down trees. Seriously! I helped take down a tree mom! Lol. I loved the hard labor. My body wasn’t use to it, and haha I feel like someone hit my entire body with a baseball bat, but its all a good kind of pain. I really enjoy hard labor, being outside, and serving. My companion dislikes the country side and labor in general. And yes, she has agreed to walk for hours on end in the mission routes we are assigned and yet she really is such a city girl and doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. I have found I am more of a “lets get dirty and get things done” kind of girl. It is nice just to work and give of yourself in service. There are reflective moments for thought and it is stress reliever too because you can concentrate on something other than your normal thoughts. I really enjoyed this experience!

I have been reading the words of Elder Ballard in his book, "Our Search for Happiness". What a great book. It talks a lot about the fundamentals of our gospel and how to see our gospel through new eyes. I have found much to ponder on and powerful person revelation has come through gleaning from the knowledge of his words. I feel such a desire to change and to grow. It has also blessed me with an added desire and urgency to read and apply the scriptures more in my life. 

Time for the little philosophical me... lol I have really been pondering the 6 weeks here in the mission field (and the 13 since I left home). To be honest, I am not really enjoying the "stressed-out, emotional, exhausted" Kaitlyn that has come out to play too many times. The rawness of my “true character” has unfolded in this very challenging environment and there is no hiding my true self here in the mission field. I am an open book and have found the person that I truly am when all is said, tested, and done is a good person, yet I have so many flaws. The rawness of the things I don’t really want to admit, or look at in myself, like perhaps not being as kind as I could be, where my thoughts really focus on, and/or am I selfless or selfish? I am taking a closer look and I feel a bit boiled down—in a raw sate, or as Ustice commented in “The Voyage of the Dawntreader”, with each paw slash from Aslan I began to feel more raw and more real. But the good thing is that the root of the problem is more evident and I know that I can only go up from here.

Mom! I received your package! As I read your words and the thoughtfully picked out card I cannot help but cry. Tears came to my eyes before I finished reading it. Oh, the emotional love and tenderness I have for you, dearest mother! Oh how I LOVE YOU. I had this song that Sis. Broyles had us memorize back when I was 12 that came to my mind after reading your letter & looking through my package, "She stood by my cradle through long sleepless nights. She taught me to live with the Lord by my side...and because of my mother I still believe, that God sent an angel to watch over me". You have been a central part of every part of my life. The place that you have in my heart, my prayers, my life--cannot be described. I love you dearest mother, forever and for always.

May God protect and provide for you all. He is here! I feel him so strongly around me and I know He loves me, even though I am not perfect. I love the hope that comes through understanding and embracing the atonement of Christ.

Good luck on your adventures back east (in DC)!! "Wise men still seek him!" :P lol.  Thank you so much for sharing with me the things that are happening at home. Sounds like great adventures are happening! Please send photos :) in emails!! They are way fun to receive news from home.

I love you all,
Hermana Hansen


WEEK 12 – “Lord I Believe”

¡Hola Mi Increíble Familia y Amigos!

¿Como estan ustedes? Yo espero bien. Aquì en La Paz, Uruguay mucho sonrisas y amor para nos mismos. Esta semana ha estuve diferente para nosotros. Translation: How are you all doing? I hope fine. Here in La Paz, Uruguay we are getting lot of smiles and we love them. This week was different for us. We have been sick and well. Mom, lets just say I wish I could have called you for advice a few times :P. There were a few emotional problems that occurred yet all is good now. 

The reason I entitled my email to you all "Lord, I believe" is because this week I have been focusing on this talk by Jeffrey R. Holland (given in the 2013 April Conference). "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief." First he states his strengths and then his weaknesses. This has been beautiful and rewarding to try and unwrap this concept in my brain. We first "hold the ground already won" and then "hold fast to what we already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes".

For a while there I felt like I doubted in the Lord. I was putting my trust in myself, or perhaps accepting it was "too hard", and just going with yes was hard... I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about that. Then this week I experinced incredible things within myself as I have just prayed for help and prayed for faith. Or as Jeffery R. Holland says, "What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine(!) I know this work is God’s very truth, and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us form its paths. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flames of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe." 

This past week I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the “Oro Mission Reunion”. It was great to see everyone and great to have the chance to converse with some (sadly there was no time for all). It was amazing to actually be able to converse with them. I have two stories about this.

The first was in the ominbus (bus) ride over. It was 6:00 in the morning (normally we arise at 6:30... lol esta bien). And in the bus it was loud...there was awful (normal lol to some) music playing. I had made a choice a few days prior that I was not going to give into the temptaion of going with that kind of music any more or being drawn into it. I was done with letting other music come into my head. This was a huge test and I am glad I made a choice before this event occurred. I sat there with six other missionaries. I am not sure what they did for the 2 hour bus ride, but by the end I had gone through every possible thing I had memorized probably through out all those years of Seminary :P ;) lol. 

Such a feeling entered my heart. I felt the deep resonating power of "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we Love him. We will stand as witnesses of [thee] at all times, in all things, in all places..." I think I may have repeated that one the most. I also felt strongly the wonderful power behind "we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent... if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy we seek after these things..." or the part that says "we believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things." I felt like I was a little crazy standing there muttering to myself... lol yet I believed the Lord could help me if I did my part. I stated firmly in my mind and somewhat out loud, “Lord, I believe”. 

The second experience is when it came time to share experiences about the mission with other Oros (missionaries). The Lord has honestly been blessing me. In one of the Articles of Faith it says we believe in the interpretation of tongues..." and in Doctrine and Covenants 47 (I think), it states that to some it is given one gift and to some is given another…and to some it is given the gift of the interpretation of tongues. I have honestly experienced this kind of gift time and time again. I feel at times that I have around 95% ability-- THROUGH THE LORD --to understand what is going on around me.

As my peers speak and bare their testimonies of trials and hardships, I feel the spirit so strongly and the spirit was felt in Spanish! It was the coolest thing! By the time it was my turn (second to last) I was filled with such Love for my companions in the field that I asked the Lord to help me to please express it. He did. I was able to thank them and to express what experiences I had had. I testified that one of the greatest blessings here in the mission is the culture. The people here are ready for the gospel. This gospel changes lives. I know and I feel so honored to be here and help the Lord with this part of His vineyard that I am asked to tend for a season.

There is such power that comes from being around the other missionaries. I love the support and the Love I feel. The quest I have taken on now is, “Do I edify my companions” and “Do I try my best to live so that they feel my support and that they know I love them?” There are trials and there are problems, yet I know the Lord helps us and that if we are obedient and pray for strength the Lord will help us in the noble work. I know I am meant to be a missionary. The language comes stronger daily. Thank you for your prayers for your love and for all that you do. The Lord sees your good works!

This week we were sick. This was not a good experience. But, all is well now. I watched as we went from being exhausted, disconnected, and had awful spirit…to being happy, devoted, and cheerful. How did such a change occur? Well, we were paid a visit by President Armstrong, our mission president. We each received a blessing and I can tell you that I felt such a power come over our house, over my companions, and my heart. I know that priesthood power is real and it changes lives and heals--it changed mine. I hope to always desire to know what God desires me to know through one who is worthy.

I love you all! I care about you and know all is well!!
May God be with you!
Hermana Hansen



¡Hola mi capo familia y amigos!

¿Comò andan? (How goes it) lol. It was so great to see you all yesterday! I feel so blessed! A part of me thinks it was a dream! I am grateful I got to talk to you yesterday and also grateful to write a few things that have happened…because surprisingly enough, much has changed since I talked to you. 

I am no longer am being trained by Hermana Phillips. She is with a “Corto Plaza” sister which is a girl who comes in and serves a "mission" for “x” amount of time that we need her. She represents the church and she has arrived today! Her name is Hermana Florencia Laurito! What a sweetheart! She seriously looks and acts just like Holly Welch. Honestly I feel so blessed. And well, my new trainer is Hermana Calderòn from Peru.

The Lord has answered many of my prayers! I asked for a new trainer, to understand how to help this one push me harder in the language, or for someone new. The Lord still has allowed me to keep Hermana Phillips close though, yet have a HUGE Spanish push! Yeah! :D I am honestly really happy. I am a little worried about the whole zero English understanding thing, yet I know and have faith the Lord will help me over come this fear! I talked with my district leader about all these new things. He said, "Wow! Hermana Hansen, the Lord is preparing you for something great! There are so many new things you are experiencing in such a short amount of time". I feel a peace inside that he is right.

I had an epiphany the other day about Satan. I think one of the greatest verifications that our church is true is because there is honestly the MOST opposition against our church. The theory is still forming, yet I was thinking about how when the pioneers experienced all the hardship and how Joseph Smith defended the faith with his life. He gave everything. Satan took everything he could, yet still this church is thriving! Still this church grows, changes lives, and proclaims in every aspect the way we follow without ceasing our Savior Jesus Christ. 

There has to be opposition in all things! If there wasn`t, then we could not discern between right and wrong, truth and error. I think there was someone in General Conference that said to acknowledge the darkness, but not to dwell there. I feel such opposition yet, you are right mom, there are so many more people on the right side, and we have the three strong one’s that matter the most on this side--God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I know and testify that Satan is real, yet "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phillipians 4:13).

This past week...I hope to not ever be the source again of a week like this past week... We did not give it 100% and I am ashamed to report really no success either. I have really learned how companion’s attitudes (including myself) make or break a day. I truly am gaining a testimony about personal attitude and the effects of how stress can really change a companionship. I know that if we are each coming to God, and we choose to set differences aside, the coming weeks are going to as the Uruguayian’s say "Vamos Arriba!" = going up, gaining, growing lol :) 

I am excited for this new companionship and know that it will be a whole new challenge though too. Yet I am ready to apply what these last few weeks have taught me and continue to grow, continue to pray, and continue to walk the path that leads closer to my Savior.

Another challenge right now is just overcoming the effects of yesterday. lol I loved seeing you all yet it was indeed hard. You all seriously looked so wonderful. I loved hearing your laughs, seeing your smiles, crying with your tears. :) May we always remember the love that was shared and God be with you till we meet again!

Love you!
Hermana Hansen



Hola Familia y Amigos!!! 

It is honestly so amazing with how fast this week has flown by! I hope that the same feeling will come as this week passes, because as you know NEXT WEEK is Mother´s day!! ¿ Enserio? It is so great to hear from you dearest family and friends. I really do feel your prayers and I pray for your successes daily! Mom WAY TO BE!! I admire your strength with the new cleanse you are on. I tell people often how much I admire and love my family. Sometimes this is how we relate to people we talk to on the street. I find myself talking about my mother-daughter relationship often and I find such strength in the wonderful parents that raised me! Thank you for giving me so many opportunities to grow, to prepare, and to encourage my faith to grow. This has given me strength in order to overcome the obstacles I face! 

Lately new challenges have come into my life and slowly, yet surely, I have found strength in the Lord by turning to Him.  It is not stable yet, but like a mustard seed, I desire for my faith to become a grand tree in the Lord someday. It is amazing and discouraging with how fast hard work can be undone. Like building a tapestry…lots of hours weaving back-n-forth, and yet with one snip of the scissors it can all be gone, ripped, torn, and never the same. It is the same with words. They can be sharp, and if used unwisely can make or break a relationship. This has happened while I have been learning a new language, sure I make mistakes and I attempt to speak what I know, and for the most part conquer the challenges at hand. But I do have an English speaking trainer and that can be difficult too.

Have we become too sloppy and laidback with our language that we have forgotten how to master the main form of communication within ourselves? Do we throw things out just to be saying them? Or do we weigh their individual and intrinsic value and make a difference by the words we choose? I feel that those who master their tongue--the written and spoken-- will find a freedom that I have not yet mastered. However, I have this feeling that if mastered it will bring a great freedom and happiness. May our words reflect the perfect example of Christ as each day we strive to become more like Him. Here is a mental quote I tell myself to help me remember this: J "Who we are--words describe us, actions define us, thoughts create us."

It is never the same day twice here! It gets pretty hard to continually "roll with the punches" and when you finally stop rolling, you find yourself battered and bruised. It is frustrating really. After so much hard work it is difficult to be so physically exhausted, mentally drained, emotionally misunderstood, and spiritually imbalanced. My goal is to figure how to create a balance here in the Mission field.

I have such a new found testimony of Prayer! I know the Lord cares about the one. He calms the raging tempests of our hearts and minds. The condescension of Christ and what He did for us is a testimony to me that He knows me and He cares about my well being. I know that through prayer, an earnest desire, and exercising faith in the Lord, He will help me, he will lift me, and he will encourage me in all my righteous efforts. 

I am so grateful, muchas agradasida, for the help I have been given from Him so far, especially with the challenge of, “Can I really do this?" After asking this I was prompted to read my patriarchal blessing. There was this one sentence that stood out above the rest, it reads (I feel comfortable sharing this J) "I bless you to welcome service in the Kingdom, and not shrink from it". That’s it. I have been shrinking.  Everything is new here. There is nothing similar. I am not really feeling like the same me anymore... but I feel like this is all for the better!! :D

I have found my prayers becoming more sincere and the Lord taking my heart and helping me, probably more than I deserve. SUCH strength comes through the Lord! I know that the Lord will not give me anything that I am not able to overcome without His aid. "If a small sparrow cannot fall without his notice and neither can a great nation rise without his aid", then I know He is aware. I like to think that the great nation could be this great missionary work we are doing. It is rising quickly and we all get to "catch the wave" and rise with the new challenges and embrace the blessings. I know I am meant for something great. The Lord is preparing me. I just need to learn to see things as the Lord sees them!

All my love family!
Hermana Hansen


WEEK 9: April 29, 2013

¡Hola Familia Y Amigos!

¿Como están ustedes? Life here changes daily! The people we teach, the experiences that happen, and the new inner battles that occur. I feel so much love and strength as I read your letters! It is good to hear from those who love and know me the most!

This gospel is amazing in how much it blesses and impacts families. We just went to a baptism from another companionship. One of the girls being baptized was 11. Wow. The smile on her face, she knows with all her heart that is where she wants to be, that she loves the Lord. There were a total of 5 baptized! And each one brought their families and their friends and you could see the impact it had on those closest to them. Now their family history work can take place, generations to come can benefit from it, it is an incredible impact that just one beautiful soul can have on all of their generations (before, current, and to come). That is our purpose as missionaries! To bring souls unto Christ. That our trials may be swallowed up in exceeding great joy!

The Lord works in such mysterious, yet incredible ways. I have seen His hand so much as new trials and challenges have come my way. I am once again (YAY!) a part of a tri-companionship. My other companion’s name is Hermana Calderòn, SHE IS A FIRE CRACKER! Haha! What a crazy girl. She is from Lima, Peru and she is so loveable. It is quite the contrast from my quiet, humble, and reserved Hermana Phillips. I am a good balance between the two. I need to be a little crazy at the end of the day-- to laugh to sing -- and I need the quiet reserves of my mind as well!

I am accelerating in my Spanish!! Hermana Calderòn does not speak ANY English! What an answer to prayers. Hermana Phillips was speaking very little to me in Spanish and it would be hard sometimes to switch my brain to the new language. I wanted more language exposure. Well Kaitlyn, be careful what you wish for! LOL! Seriously HaHa!

Because it has been a whole new emotional rollercoaster and…Wow! My head hurts so much everyday from trying to translate everything in my mind. I have a need to express myself.  And I am trying, but I feel I have like a zero vocabulary in this area and so in turn I would feel like a failure. My first companion didn’t know how to help me with this. Quite frankly, I didn’t know how to help myself...

Another one of my prayers was answered too. I needed to speak to someone about this, preferably President Armstrong. We have been advised to not seek direct counsel as girls from our district leaders, this is because they are of the opposite sex and it could possibly lead to endearing feelings. Yet I didn’t know how to get to Montevideo to see the Mission President and for what I thought was a rather silly thing. Low and behold-- President Armstrong came to our ward yesterday and I had the wonderful opportunity to discuss freely with him a few problems that were occurring. He stated that quite frankly I was leaps and bounds ahead of those I came with in my thinking and that I really should consider putting that voice inside my head saying "you should be doing much better" on the shelf or out the window for awhile. He told me that this kind of thinking doesn’t have a place. It helped to hear it coming from him. I feel so much more relieved. I think I was running faster than I had strength. The Lord will help me learn in His own time and in His own way. I just need to continue to work hard and do my part to be the best I can each day.

This work is incredible! I have seriously watched it change lives this week. I had the opportunity to do an intercambio with Hermana Vargas (hopefully pictures next week, sorry forgot them!) and we had an incredible experience. This man, Marcello, that Hermana Vargas had met previously on the street had made an appointment, and that day we were together was the day we visited him. He openly stated and desired to know why we were missionaries. He told us that he did not believe in God. He did not believe that God cared about him. He is jobless, has a family to care for, and near zero food in the house. And there we sat, bellies full, hardly any cares in the world, and we had hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our eyes.   

I know that it was through the Holy Ghost I was able to 1) understand his immediate questions and 2) be able to respond boldly that we are messengers of Jesus Christ. We are here to invite souls to come unto Christ. To share how this gospel has impacted our lives. To share our love of God and God’s love with all man kind. 

He tended to focus on material things, yet Marcello and Dyanna (his wife, religious Catholic) changed so much as we talked with them about the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation. We saw this man change his hard expression of distain into an expression of humility, and he felt the spirit testify to his whole soul of the divinity of God, that God is there, He desires to help him. I saw as this man knelt down for the first time in his life and said a prayer. Words cannot describe my joy.

I love this work! I wish I had more time to share with you the stories I have! There are so many more. We are working hard!! We are walking in the dirt roads of La Paz. We are letting ourselves become servants of God. 

All my love! 
Hermana Hansen



   IMPORTANT NEW INFO! There has been a big change world wide with the communication methods for the LDS church missionaries.  For many years the full-time missionaries have only been able to email their parents and siblings directly - -and NOW they are allowed to email and receive emails directly from whomever they want!  This is big news!
   So with this new change please disregard all previous email address information I have given you for Kaitlyn. You can now email her directly and she can reply back directly to you directly via email as well. This makes communication with her so much easier and convenient.  
   Just like any missionary she would love to get a little note, message, or letter from any of her friends and family.  She will be checking her inbox on Monday's.  This new email address will not change for the remainder of her mission -- so it is good for the next 18 months, plus it is easy to remember!  Please don't feel obligated to write, but if you feel prompted to do so I am sure she would love to here from you.

   Email her directly at:

Hello Dearest Family!  

I have felt so much love and wonderfulness headed my way this past week. The time has flown by. There is a certain poem that comes to mind by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life.This is not word for word but here it is, 

"The lives of great men remind us that we can make our lives sublime, and leave foot prints in the sands of time, perhaps a long lost traveler shall see them and take heart again." 

I feel like this right now. I am reminded of all those who have traveled and have gone this way. The other missionaries who have paved the way and now it is my turn to carry the torch and light the way for others to come. I am reminded of the pioneers. "No journey or trial ahead of them was greater than the power that was behind them".

Thank you mom for sharing with me what Sis. Welch said, it is so true. There is a lot to adjust to. I have found myself in the back seat of conversations and yes, it has been hard, yet nothing I cannot handle. At first I was frustrated, I felt overwhelmed. Sometimes I seriously have to take a step back, look at the beauty around me, find my purpose, renew, say a simple & honest prayer, and then carry on. I am amazed at how the Lord strengthens and has lead me this week. 

A question arose one day this week, "Kaitlyn, how far are you willing to go?" Then this scripture came to mind D&C 112:28 or 23... "the man that puts his hand to the plow and looks back is not fit for the kingdom of God". For me this means that giving 95% obedience is good, but it does not make you 100% obedient. It is important to give it your all. This is when the scriptures become more a part of you, and start to fit right into your very character that true development can begin. 

I had another question along these lines. Those who know me know that I have a very strong love for IDENTITY. I wondered, how can I give all of me to the Lord and still be me and to not lose who Kaitlyn is. Then as I prayed, studied, and pondered on this question words, scriptures, and my own thoughts, etc. the answer came. The Lord revealed it to my mind with these thoughts. 

Is my image in your countenace? Allowing my world--which is my mind, to become more like my Savior, To seek qualities that He has, to be patient with myself and others, to not lose myself, but find out all that I can be with His masterful hands! Come unto me, Let me heal you, let me love you. I testify that the person I want to become is more like my Savior, I am not losing who I am, I am reaching to the very depths of my divine nature and grasping that infinite potential that is within me.

I asked the Lord a few times this week, why this companion? We have had a few bumps. Yet in all honestly at this very moment I wouldn`t trade her for the world. She is exactly what I need. Patient, caring, quiet, pensive, thoughtful. We are both serious souls so it is helping me step outside and be more light-hearted. I find that when I do everything goes better, the language, our relationship, and most importantly the work. 

The Lord is incredible. All I really need at this time is someone who seeks to understand me, a true friend. We have found that music speaks to our souls with such intensity. We take joy together, we cry together, we laugh and uplift one another. We encourage, and we share our faith and love of God with one another. Thank you Lord for Hermana Phillips!

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers, for your updates from home. Thank you for pictures, spiritual messages, and for taking my challenges seriously. I ligitamently have an incredible family. 

May I remember to be strictly obedient, to not run faster than I have strength, and to find joy in this incredible journey. Is my prayer,

Hermana Hansen