Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Woohoo Dominican Republic

Saludo Familia y Amigos!!
It’s been another crazy week here in Villa Mella. Actually, Villa Mella is my zone. Maranon is my area. Look it up on google maps. It’s pretty awesome :) The city is so diverse. Parts of city are wealthy, but in other parts of the city, people live in very humble circumstances. Despite their circumstances, they are the most giving and loving people I have ever met. Recently, the ward had a food drive. I watched members who I know have nothing, bring things to the food drive. The people who I am serving understand the principle of service. I am grateful for their examples. 
This was a hard week.  We didn't have loads of "success."  We are working really hard to find people to teach. The thing about the Dominican Republic is that just about anyone will let you in to hear a message about Christ. We are really trying hard to find those who want to do more than just listen, and find those who want to act. There was a lot of walking, a lot of heat, and a lot of appointments that fell through.
Even though the week was hard, I saw the hand of the Lord in the work over and over again. One day this Lady (Antonia) called me over so that she could see what my plaque said. She then started asking me to tell her about the prophet Moroni. I told her about how we believed in the Bible, but we also believed another book, The Book of Mormon, to be the word of God. I explained how Moroni was a prophet in that book. She told me she would like to read The Book of Mormon. I was like OK!!! :) The next day we brought one by her work. We haven’t been able to teach her yet, but she saw us on the street and told us she had started reading. This was just one example of how I have seen God put those ready for the gospel in our path this week.
I know there are those who have been prepared for the message of the restored gospel. My job is to live in such a way that I will have the Spirit with me, and then follow it's guidance to find and teach those who are ready for His message. I am also learning how to measure success. Success as a missionary is not how many people you baptize. Success as a missionary is measured by how well you conform your will to God’s will. I am trying each day to get a little bit closer to having my will be the same as His. 
I bear testimony that God lives. Cuando estamos orando Dios siempre esta escuchando. He hears and answers our prayers. I have learned on my mission that faith and prayers bring miracles. I testify that when we have faith first, we WILL see miracles in our lives. I was talking to a man on the street yesterday. He looked me in the eyes and told me God does not hear everyone’s prayers. I tried to share with him what I feel in my heart, that I know God DOES hear our prayers. I am grateful for the knowledge I have. I invite all of you to pray every morning and every night with faith. Then watch carefully. As you are diligent and patient, you will see the hand of God in your life. I see His in mine every day.  I love you guys so much! I am grateful for your prayers and examples. 
I have to go now. Sorry again for the lack of pictures. Another internet center that doesn’t like my camera ;( 
Have a great week and send me a letter! That’s an order! hehe 
Con demasiado amor, 
Hermana Hansen
aka Rubia
aka Mormona
aka Americana
aka Paga por mi visa
aka Carrie

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I Love Being a Missionary

Saludo!! Familia y Amigos!

First off, I want to say sorry there are no pictures attached to this email, but I’m using an old computer and it doesn’t recognize my camera. I’ll try again next week.

This was another great week here in the D.R.  We are working really hard each day to do the Lord's work. The other sisters in my apartment say that this is the hardest area in the mission. I’m glad it’s my first area because I’m learning A LOT about trust and faith. 

We continue to find those prepared by the Lord to hear His message. We found one family this week. They were taught by the missionaries about 8 years ago. They have a strong desire to learn more about the gospel. They are a really loving family and I can’t wait to teach them more. 

Our challenge this week was that most of our investigators were sick. We really didn’t get to teach them very much. One of our investigators, Maria, is doing really well. She has been reading the Book of Mormon every day, and prays every night to know if what we are teaching her is true. She is such a wonderful example to me of faith and diligent prayer. Every time we teach her, the Spirit is really strong. I feel the Spirit testifying to me of what she needs to hear. Being a missionary is really amazing. Sometimes I say things in Spanish that I didn’t even know I was capable of saying. I know God makes me capable so that those I am teaching can hear what they need to hear. I feel so blessed to be able watch people come unto Christ every day. 

I have to give a talk in Church this Sunday!!! Speaking in front of 50 plus Spanish speakers in Spanish??? I’m so nervous. But if the Lord needs me to give a talk in Spanish, He will help me as long as I do my part. But still keep me in your prayers :) 

This week my testimony of prayer has been strengthened once again. I know with all my heart that God lives. When we pray to Him, He is listening to every word. And when we have faith, we can watch Him work miracles in our lives. I know that to be true. I love you all! Dios nos ama!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Hansen

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another crazy week in the Dominican Republic

¡Hola! ¿Como estan?
It was another great week here in the D.R.! 
My companion was sick a couple of days so I spent a little more time in the apartment than I would have liked, but other than that it was awesome. 

We´re working really hard to find people to teach. I’m amazed at the miracles I see every day on my mission. There are people here who are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and it is my calling to find them.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my purpose as a missionary. My purpose as a missionary is to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”  Everyone is on a different place on the road to discipleship. As a missionary, my job is to determine which step those I meet are on, and then invite them to get as far along the path as they are willing. Do they need my help in developing faith in Jesus Christ? Do they need my help preparing to be baptized? Or do they need my help in enduring to the end? Each step on the path to discipleship is vital. Missionary work is about inviting others to come unto Christ no matter where they are! And that is what I am trying my very best to do. 
We are working really hard to strengthen the ward and find more people to teach. I love watching the transformation of those we teach. As people read the scriptures and pray to their Father in Heaven they are changed. And you can see it. You can see the light of Christ growing within them. I feel so privileged to be able to witness that and even more so to be called to help God´s children grow closer to Him. 
On a little more negative note. Our apartment hasn’t had power for a week now. Blah! I want a refrigerator and a fan! Call me princess :) But luckily it’s just our apartment and not the whole building or we wouldn’t have water. So I can still shower and wash my clothes by hand. Count your blessings right?  I guess that’s just part of being a missionary in the D.R. The power goes out every day here. It’s an adventure :)
I am also proud to say that I’ve gotten pretty good at bartering. Dad you’d be proud of me. Nobody rips off this Rubia! I’m especially good at bartering for my daily mangoes :) Yumm! 
I love you guys bunches and bunches! Have a fabulous week! And remember "Fear not to do good" (Doctrine and Covenants 6:33)
Con amor,

Hermana Hansen

Baseball-Favorite Domincan Pastime

Cool Fish Tank

Monday, July 7, 2014

Just another week in paradise :)


First off I got the package mom. Thanks a million :) I was so excited to get it! And thank you Olivia for your contribution. The candy was much needed and I love the pictures.  Also you remembered my favorite pencils :) Oh and thanks Collin for the Book of Mormon. I love it so very much.

Anyways this week was pretty great! Happy 4th of the July, by the way. We have 3 Americanas in our apartment. So we made an American feast which consisted of hamburgers, fries, watermelon, and s’mores. We also wore red white and blue. 

Funny story, Hermana Hansen and I walked into a Colmado on the 4th of July to buy some ingredients for our American dinner. The guy at the counter was wearing a shirt with an American flag. I asked him if he knew it was Independence Day in America. He gave me a response like yea of course I do. So I told him I liked his shirt. He then gave me a really confused look until he looked down and realized he was wearing an American flag. Haha. Then we invited him to church and our English class. I love being a missionary in the Dominican Republic. 

Speaking of English class, I love it. The kids are adorable and so excited to learn. This week I taught them the "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" song. They loved it, and then they taught me how to sing it in Spanish. They had a good laugh :)

I really feel like my Spanish is coming! That is some days :)  Other days the words just don’t want to come out of my mouth! But I am trying to be patient. I feel like I’m getting this Spanish thing down. Next step, Dominican :)

Today for P-day we had a zone activity. We played futbol and had a water balloon fight. Playing soccer with Latinos is exciting. I’m not bad at soccer, but man they put me to shame. We finished it off with Dominican chicken and yuca. Yum!

We have some really amazing investigators right now. The girl I talked about last week is continuing to progress. She loves reading the Book of Mormon. I am so impressed by her faith. Plus she knows perfect English, so it’s a lot easier for me to teach her, but I try my best to teach in Spanish. 

We started teaching a really amazing family this week. We had made an appointment with their son who attends our advanced English class, but he wasn’t home. The mom invited us in, and she just started asking questions about our lives as missionaries and our church. We had a really powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon. She seems eager to learn and I’m excited to continue to teach this family. They are a very loving family who is seeking to do God’s will. I know that the gospel can bless their lives. I feel humbled to have the privilege to share it with them.  

I love you guys. I am so blessed with such wonderful family and friends in my life. And I am so blessed to be here. This week my testimony of prayer has grown a lot. I know that God literally hears each and every one of our prayers individually.  When I pray, He is listening. Isn’t that amazing? I know that He answers my prayers. It never seems to be in the way I expect, but He does answer.  Usually it’s as simple as an assurance that He is there and listening, through something I read or something I see.  Life is hard sometimes. The mission is hard, but I find comfort in the fact that there is a God above who is watching out for me, who wants the best for me, and if I listen to and follow His will He will never allow me to go astray. I encourage all of you to say a prayer of gratitude tonight to your Heavenly Father. I testify to you from the bottom of my heart that He will be listening. 

I love you guys! As always keep those letters coming.


Hermana Hansen, Carriebelle, Carrie, Caroline, Sissiewissie, Rubia (or whatever you would like to call me).

Me and some of the other Santo Domingo East Hermanas

View from my Apartment

Our July 4th Feast with Chinola (Passion Fruit) Juice


Making Smores :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Another Week in the Mission!!

(Sorry, no photos this week.  Carrie was unable to get them loaded on the computer she was using.  Hopefully we'll get lots next week.)
Family and Friends!
It was another great week in the Dominican Republic! I love it here in Villa Mella. The people are so gracious and loving. Some of them have nothing when it comes to possessions, but they are full of joy and love. That sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I am amazed every day.

The Spanish is coming. I’ve made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon in Spanish in the next few months. Sometimes it’s hard to understand, but I’m getting better each day :)

There is a lot of work to be done in Villa Mella. We are working really hard to strengthen the ward and find more people to teach. Some days are frustrating. Being a missionary is really, really hard.  We walk around all day in the hot sun, giving a message to people that I know can change their lives for the better and sometimes I feel like I haven’t made a difference--investigators aren’t home, people aren't interested, people didn't keep their commitments. But then other days I see the Lord's had so profoundly in the people he has prepared for me to teach, and then I remember why I am here--to invite people to come unto Christ.
I had one really amazing experience this past week. We had been working really hard for a few days trying to find people to teach, but we hadn’t had much success. We decided to go visit a family who Hermana Hansen taught a few months ago.  She hadn’t gone back before because the parents didn’t seem interested. When we got there, only their daughter (in her 20s) and her daughter were home. We started teaching her, and the spirit was strong.  We asked her to pray about the things we had taught, and I testified to her of how we can receive answers to our prayers through the power of the Holy Ghost. She then told us her best friend was a member of our church and she remembered reading the Book of Mormon with her family growing up. She asked if she could have one. We gave her one and encouraged her to read. We came back a few days later and she had read like 30 pages. Then she came to church on Sunday. Every time I teach her, I feel the Spirit strongly testifying to me what I need to testify to her.
The Lord really has prepared people to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I feel blessed to serve as a missionary so I can bring it to them. We don’t need to be full-time missionaries to share His gospel. One thing that has been made very clear to me since I have been here is that no matter who we are, what our background is, WE ALL NEED CHRIST. I challenge all of you to share Christ's love with someone this week, whether that is an act of service or bearing testimony of him. I know that as we do, we not only bless the lives of others, but we are also blessed. When we are on the Lord's errand, He will always use our service to do good even if we can’t see it. 
I love this country. I love you guys. I love my Savior. And I love sharing His gospel. There is nothing better :) 
Also Dominican mangoes are the best mangoes in the world. I eat one just about every day :)

Please keep praying for me and the people I am teaching :) Thank you so much for all of the letters. They are so uplifting. Keep them coming! 
Lots of love,

Hermana Hansen