remember when my group emails were creative and funny? I feel like all of my juices have been drained so when it comes to send out a weekly update, I have… nothing.
here are the three things on my mind:
“why is it that when I leave home, everything happens?”
“why won’t anyone come to church??? it’s not that hard???”
“I miss having sisters”
addressing thought #1- I remember going to EFY (a youth camp) for the first time and coming home to a brand new flat screen TV. Previously, we had been down to a single, tiny square TV and it was too tacky. You had to squint just to see what was going on. I had been buggin’ the parents to get a new one for years, and they did as soon as I was gone. This was the start of a theme that would go on for the rest of my life. I go off to college, the family goes to Disney Land. I go on a mission, and the “Ann Van,” (otherwise known as “the Anna Vanna,” “the Raspberry,” “The Soccer Mom Van,” “The Party Van,” and “the truck”) died. AND I DIDN’T EVEN GET THE CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE! That vehicle has so many good memories attached to it. I will even be so bold as to say that my high school experience would not have been as good without that van. (Thank you Haddocks!) Seminary carpools, hauling a lawn mower out to Baldwin to mow Waneta’s lawn, standing out of the sunroof while driving around rich neighborhoods in Kansas City, having picnics in the back when all the seats were down, hauling 4 bikes to the river to go on a ride. I better stop before I start crying. ALSO My dad was just called as the Stake President so that’s wild. anyway, just things that have nothing to do with my mission but still decently relevant.
The second thought is self explanatory. People just don’t like coming to church out here. It’s pretty frustrating when you do all you can to get them there but then they just don’t come. It all comes down to agency. It’s their decision. BUT IF YOU WANT TO BE BAPTIZED YOU HAVE TO COME TO CHURCH! It just goes together that way. Speaking of baptism, people have been asking me how many baptisms I’ve had on my mission A LOT lately. Our mission is supposedly very high baptizing so when I answer “0!” other missionaries and members are shocked. I haven’t felt bad about that though, I was able to teach Shige, and commit her to baptism, but the timing was off and I left a month before it happened. I came into Rupert and now we’re teaching like 10 different people. Even though baptism is their goal, they still have a long way to go. Like Michele. I’m sure I’ve already talked about her before but I wanted to share something that happened this weekend. Michele is 36 years old and I was able to start teaching her last transfer. She’s so amazing! She’s hit rock bottom and is on her way back up. We took her to a baptism with us on Saturday, and she was crying the whole time. After the whole shabang, we were eating brownies and ice cream and Sister Somppi asked Michele if she had any questions about what went on. Michele responded: “yes…so when can that be me?” and I had to explain to her that we won’t be able to set a date until we know what the court decides (she has a felony she needs to take care of) and the court isn’t until June. So…it will happen. Eventually. And that’s the case with the other people we work with. It’s so important that we make sure they understand everything, and are ready to make this big step and decision. If they aren’t, they’ll be baptized and go inactive. Like SO many people we are working with. I guess I’ve just come to the conclusion that numbers don’t matter (Everett did a great job talking about that in his last letter) and what I’m doing is still making a HUGE difference in these people’s lives.
Our zone is just straight up elders. I no longer have any sisters to pal around with which is so sad. I’m a Sister Training Leader over…no one. Sort of strange. Hopefully things change next transfer because I’m just lonely.
So there’s my email. I want you all to know that a mission is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but also the best thing I’ve ever done. I miss my family, I miss my friends, I have some serious FOMO about the things going on without me. But I wouldn’t change where I am. And that’s a lot to say! I LOVE the members here, they are so good to me. Last night Brother Schall pulled through and made some Kansas City style barbecue ribs, because he knew I missed Kansas food. That’s true love right there.
sending my true love,
Sis Anna Hansen
we went to find some wind caves last monday, we ended up getting lost in the dessert, our chevy cruze completely bottomed out in the mud, the elders let us drive their jeep, all we had to show for our trip were these pictures.