Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Yeah, that was another lame attempt at a creative subject line. I was trying to think of something cool or special about the upcoming week, but then I realized that Valentine's Day doesn't really count unless you're married (or you work for Hallmark), and for missionaries it's just Tuesday. jeps... [yeah]

Anyway, hyvää päivää teille, [good day to you]

We had a wonderful week this week. The weather let up a bit and just pounded us with snow, so the last few days have been really fun. I'm currently planning a proposal to include snow shoveling events in the Winter Olympics. Ideas include (but are not limited to): speed shoveling - clearing ground in the fastest time; creative shoveling - clearing ground in the most artistic designs (about as much of a sport as men in waaay too tight pants jumping around on ice skates); The snow throw - throwing a pile of snow over the greatest distance, and snow MMA. Stay tuned. All of these were invented by me and my companion while we were shoveling snow for a member the other day. We're both pretty competitive, so it was really fun. And yes, it ended after I threw a giant snowball at him, which he countered by tackling me into a snowdrift. By then, dinner was ready and I had tons of snow down my pants, so I was ready to go in. Great day. I love being a missionary.

The baptism went great on Saturday. It wasn't perfect, but imperfect baptismal services don't invalidate the ordinance, so it's all good. We had about twice as many family and friends there as branch members, which was wonderful. I'm pretty sure they were all touched. Tons of food afterwards and we got to mingle with everyone there. Just a great, uplifting atmosphere all around. Their neighbor is a professional photographer and she took a ton of nice pictures that she said she'd get to us soon. Not sure when I'll be able to get them to you, but Dad I promise not to take too long. 

Mom, funny you should ask about us not having a car, we've been trying to see if we can get one for a little while. We need to find some more people to teach first! Cross your fingers and stay tuned!

We did our DA with branch mission leader/teach with A and T combo again a couple times this week. Our BML
[branch mission leader] is awesome. That combo takes up basically our whole afternoon/evening, but it's way more efficient for all of us and we get great food so I'm ok with it. This week we had moose again, really good, and rooster (tastes like chicken ;) ). It tastes a little bit different, but I liked it better than any chicken I'd ever had.

Friday we had a district meeting again, and Elder L and I were asked to give a thought on a Christlike Attribute. We chose to talk about humility. We split it up into two parts:
1. Being submissive. We have to be willing to put His will before ours and do things his way in order to receive promised blessings. As we do, we find that the hard things become easier, because they become joys instead of chores, and they actually make us better in spite of what we may believe at the beginning. 

We used one of my favorite quotes ever:
"We will not always understand the role of God's hand, but we know enough of his mind and his heart to be submissive. Thus when we are perplexed and stressed, explanatory help may not be immediately forthcoming, but compensatory help will be. The more our will is thus swallowed up in the will of the Father, the more our afflictions will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ." [Neal A. Maxwell] Our district has been great at following counsel, and so we've received a great many miracles (4 baptisms this year, with another two by the first week of March). Which brings me to the next point:

2. Being grateful. When we are grateful, and give credit to God for the blessings we receive, we maintain our closeness to the Spirit, remain free of pride, and thus retain the spiritual power we have been given so long as it is in accordance with God's will.

Hope that thought was uplifting. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Family, you mean everything to me. There has been nothing like teaching families (first E's and now A and T's) that has helped me understand so much how grateful I am for my family, and how much I want love to abound in my own family.

Press forward,

Elder McKay Hansen 

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