Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 19: Learning in Loma Linda

My dear family and friends,

Wow, has it been a week?  I feel like this week was about three days long!

This week we had a special training for sister missionaries.  Hermana Russell, the mission president´s wife, talked to us about dress and grooming and President Russell talked about the changes we need to make to see more success.  Specifically, 1) Lose yourself in the work instead of focusing on yourself. 2) Stop ineffective habits and routines. 3) Be bold and innovative. 4) Don´t be afraid to be bold in extending commitments or of losing an investigator. 5) Use the teaching skills in chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel.  We learned and practiced effective contacts and inspired questions.  Inspired questions are still hard for me, but my comp and I have been trying hard to apply the principle this week with mixed results.  Sometimes you can see the gears turning and feel the Spirit working, but other times the person just launches into a 10-minute story about how they got offended by a member of the church or why their life is falling apart.  Learning to listen to and follow the Spirit is going to be a process of my whole mission and my whole life, I think!

We´ve seen the beginnings of working more effectively with the ward this week.  We met with the bishop to discuss specific needs and how each of us can support the other in our callings.  Also, there was a ward activity on Saturday with dancing by each organization, which was super fun.  The bishop´s wife and the relief society president can shimmy (how do you spell that?)!  A little bit different than the ward activities I´m used to in Utah, but definitely a good experience for all involved.  And then on Sunday, we went out to do some visits with the young men´s president, elders´ quorum president, and relief society president.  We were introduced to some really positive less actives, part member families, and old investigators in those two hours, not to mention I discovered an entire huge new part of my area that I didn´t know existed.  It makes me want to work with members every day!

Ah, we are constantly working on trying to work more effectively.  We struggle with trying to meet the numbers goals while also trying to teach effective lessons.  Also, finding our investigators during the week is tough.  It´s easy to meet with someone one time and get them to commit to a baptismal date, but then we can hardly ever find them and help them progress.  However, we´ve made some changes in our companionship study to help us and are trying to keep organized and focused on our mission´s motto of ¨Bautizar y Retener!¨ 

Funny moment:  My companion often has little bursts of English when she gets worked up about something.  One day, she discovered a hole in her sock and exclaimed, ¨Oh freak, you can see my fingers!¨ Hahaha, fingers and toes are both ¨dedos¨ in Spanish.

Testimony moment:  The Book of Mormon is true!  I finally finished reading it in Spanish (only took me eight months, but I did do a lot of highlighting and scripture-journaling in that time) and I can´t express just how powerful that book is.  Also, one day we went to visit a recent convert family and read 1 Nephi 11 with them.  I had been feeling super stressed and consumed by the numbers that we never seem to be able to meet, but as we read about Lehi´s vision of the Tree of Life, I felt the unmistakable peace that the Holy Ghost brings.  I realized that my goal as a missionary is to lead people to the gospel (the Iron Rod) that helps them to experience the fulness of the Love of God, the fruit of the Tree of Life.  I need to focus more on loving the people, loving the gospel, and loving the Lord in order to accomplish my missionary purpose, and then trust that the Lord with magnify our efforts to meet the numbers.  So hey, you, read the Book of Mormon!  I don´t have the answers to your problems, but the scriptures do!

Alright, novel over.  Until next week´s chapter, anyway!  I love you all tons and wish each of you success this week!


Hermana Ali Hansen

P.S. Could someone send me the English lyrics of the hymns How Firm a Foundation and Go Forth With Faith?  Also, Elder Holland´s talk ¨Feed My Sheep¨ that I can print off?  Thank you!


1) Emma had a question about the shower, so here you go.  The Ziplock bag acts as showerhead to make the water run vertically instead of shooting horizontally.

2) My comp and I on the way back from our P-day McDonald´s lunch

3) A puppy in the home of a recent convert family.  I know, I look lovely... but the puppy is cute, and an unflattering photo is better than none!

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