Friday, October 31, 2014

Grateful for Lessons Learned from our Investigators - October 27, 2014

First off... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOTHER DEAREST!!!!!!! I will be celebrating on Saturday here in Boulder :) 

We enjoyed the ward Halloween Party this week! It wasn't the best turn out.. but it was still fun! There were some great costumes! Nissa's Dia de los Muertos costume was awesome! It was SO cool! 

It was a good week!  We did our first exchanges of the transfer. We had to do 2 this week... Exchanges are exhausting! I already thought they were before I was an STL, but now it is worse! ha! They are just really emotionally draining. But they went well. The companionship we went on exchanges with is in a trio, so that is why we had to do 2 this week. For the first one I went to Louisville with one of the sisters. And then Sister Johnson came to Boulder with Ally and me and it was so much fun! That girl cracks me up!! 

This week we also had a baby shower for one of the women in our Spanish group. She is awesome! Her son was 2 months premature and her husband just left her for an ex-girlfriend... Men I tell you!!! They make me mad sometimes! But the baby shower was awesome! It was a lot of fun! Nissa Hall put it all together and that girl goes all out!! We had fun games and a good time :) 

We had some great lessons this week! We taught our investigators R. and J. They are a mother and son from el Salvador! J. is 21 and so cool! He loves Bob Marley and has dread locks and is legit. Neither of them speak any English. When we went over, R. seemed somewhat annoyed that we were there... her Novela was on and it was really intense! haha! But she let us share a quick message with her and then J. came out and joined us and we talked about the Book of Mormon and how it will bless their life. R was still kinda distant but then started to relax. It was kinda formal when we first got there, so we tried to relax the situation and crack jokes and make her more comfortable and by the end she was laughing, having a good time, committed to read the Book of Mormon and was really happy! J was super engaged in the lesson and had a good time too. It was just such a testimony to me that we teach PEOPLE not LESSONS. We have to teach in ways that engage those we are teaching. Help them want to learn more! Be real people! The atmosphere of the lesson changed drastically! We went over right before the Halloween party to see if they could come and they were so happy to see us, even though they couldn’t make it. I could tell it meant a lot that we still came over to invite them. I am really excited for our lesson with them this week! They are great! :)

We also had a great lesson with our recent convert, Radhika. She was baptized a month ago. She is from Nepal! She is so adorable! We reviewed the Plan of Salvation with her and she loved it! She didn't remember a whole of about it. We tried to explain it really well by using my puzzle I got in the CCM. The lesson went really well :)

We also taught the Plan of Salvation to M again. Thank goodness for that puzzle! The visual is just so nice and makes it much easier to understand, especially since it is a new concept for so many people. The lesson went really well!! M told us so much about herself. She has had the worst life! I seriously have never met anyone who has gone through as much as this woman and her son. I was crying as she was talking. I wont give you all the details, sufficeth to say it involved abuse, being cheated on, people stealing from her, financial woes, no car and walking until her feet are bloody and swollen. The stories just went on and on... I was crying. She lives in this ghetto trailer now with nothing but a kitchen table and a tv. I wish so badly I could buy her a couch at least! She sits on the old, dirty, ripped up linoleum or on a hard wooden chair to watch TV. But she and her son have the strongest faith I have ever seen anyone have! They are beautiful people! They know God loves them and that they are given these trials because God knows they can handle them and they will become stronger. How amazing that they can know this! Because, I have to admit, as M was talking, I myself was wondering why God would allow so many terrible things happen to 2 people who are trying to do good. I think it is normal to wonder why, but when we have an eternal perspective in our lives, and we truly understand our purpose and the divine nature of our Heavenly Father, then comes the understanding that we are given trials to make us better people, to make us into the people our Father in Heaven wants us to become. I am grateful for this knowledge! I am grateful for the wonderful examples that our investigators are to me! I am so grateful for the experiences I am having! I know I would not be learning these lessons if I wasn't out serving a mission. I already feel incredibly in debt for the things I have learned. I love being a missionary! I love the gospel. I know with every fiber of my being that the church is true! I feel honored to share my testimony with others, happy for the truths that we have and, grateful to wear Christ’s name every day and be His representative. 

I love you all so much!!! Have a wonderful week :) 

Con MUCHO amor,

Hna. Mangum Sr. 

Hannah :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Preaching the Word in Gas Stations - October 20, 2014

Greetings :)

This has been an exhausting week!! First week of new transfers always feels long... But it has been great! So fun to be reunited with Ally!! And so fun to be back in Boulder! I can't believe it has been a year since I was here last! Time flies!! And it is just beautiful here! Fall in Boulder is just lovely!!

Saying goodbye to people is terrible!! I miss Fort Collins and the people I love so much there!! Sending more pics this week of my last days in FoCo.

1. I love Denae soooooo much!
2. The fab Morgans
3. The Elders
4. Fort Collins Ladies :)
5 - 7. THE BOWMANS!!

So one of fun things that happened this week was getting to go back to Bead for Life to do service! It was one of my favorite service projects of my mission! So it is great to be back! And also, we went and visited Frosty Hansen's aunt and uncle this week! haha! Small world! 

And then some sad news... The Longmont Spanish area got closed. The stake dissolved their Spanish group! The Hermanas there are just heartbroken and now don't know what to do with their investigators and the members they have been working with. We got a phone call yesterday from a member that lives there asking what time our meetings started and is planning on driving to Boulder to come to church... So it is kinda crazy with that whole situation right now.

We had a really cool experience on Wednesday! We went to go and fill our car up with gas before meeting with our zone leaders about what our trainings needed to be on for our zone meeting. and we decided to run inside and get a coke :) the lady at the register asked if we worked in Boulder and I told her we were Mormon missionaries and she got so excited! She told us she just recently found Christ again after a long battle of drug addictions etc.  She basically just confessed her whole life story to us (which happens all the time as missionaries... haha) So, we we gave her our phone number and said we would come back later that day and give her an invitation to our ward Halloween party hoping she and her kids would come. She was so excited!!! As we left I told her she had a beautiful testimony and that the light of Christ shown from her face. And she just started to cry and said she knew the God sent us to her. It was SO cool! So we went and got a Halloween invitation and a Book of Mormon and went back later and shared a scripture with her and it was just awesome! She is super excited to meet with us! We called her yesterday and we have an appointment set up for Friday afternoon!! I am super excited to start teaching her! She is a native Spanish speaker too! Her name is C. and she is awesome! 

Also this week, we had the elders give one of our investigators a blessing. Her name is M. She has a really really really hard life! Like, it breaks my heart. So she received a blessing of comfort. After the blessing she just cried and cried and cried! Like for a good 30 minutes. She could feel the spirit SO strong and was so comforted by the words. The Elder giving the blessing said Heavenly Father loved her a lot, which really touched her heart. It was so beautiful to see the power of the Priesthood bless her life! We hope to set her with a baptismal date this week! 

This weekend was Stake Conference. It was FABULOUS!!! The Adult Session was one of the most amazing meetings I have EVER been to in my entire life. It was all about missionary work. Also, it was really fun because I got to see a lot of people from Broomfield 3rd ward there!!! Like the Engstroms, Kaisers, Van Wagenens, etc. SO fun!!! 

But back to this meeting! The first speaker was a member of the Stake Presidency and he asked the question... What have you done differently to help progress the hastening of the work? And then he talked about how we need to change things in our lives in order to help progress the work. He told a story about a man in Brazil, named Guy, but he was American. He joined the church when he was 81 years old. And he would walk to the temple at least twice a month, which was a good distance away! And then would be at home for the next 3 days trying to recover. He would also memorize the hymns because he wanted to be able to sing them in Heaven. Guy's last week at chruch he went up and shook every person's hand and then 2 days later, the man in my stake, who was giving the talk, got a phone call from Guy's wife (who was not a member) asking him to come over. He got there 2 minutes too late. Guy had passed away, with a Hymn book in his hand opened to "God Be With You Til We Meet Again". What a beautiful story! I totally cried! We need to make sure we are changing the things in our lives to bring us into harmony with our Father in Heaven. And then we have the ability to touch the lives of others. 

Another speaker that just got to me so much was this girl in the YSA ward. She is a convert of 9 months!!! She was FABULOUS!!!!!! The spirit was insanely strong as she spoke! She talked about her friend inviting her to take the lessons 4 years earlier - it took multiple invitations, but it worked. And how important it is to invite!!!! As we invite, we help the spirit to act in people's lives. Regardless of the outcome. I loved that! The success is truly in the invitation! This young sister's testimony was stronger than many active members I know. It was powerful! And then she announced that she has decided to serve a mission! It was beautiful! The entire Stake Conference was beautiful!! Also, the Sunday session was a broadcast from Salt Lake to Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. Elder Craig C. Christensen spoke, Sister Esplin :) Elder Bednar and Elder Scott!!! It was wonderful and beautiful! Such a treat to be able to hear from all of them again so soon :) 

Well I love you all so much!!!!!! Thank you for everything! You are wonderful! 

Con Carino,

Hannah :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Coming Full Circle - Mehner and Mangum Together AGAIN! - October 13, 2014


So much to say! So little time... So... I am being transferred to Boulder, Spanish to be REUNITED WITH NONE OTHER THAN MISS HERMANA ALLY MEHNER!!!!!! :) We will be the Sister Training Leaders of the Boulder and Longmont Zones :) It is going to be a great transfer!! I am so excited to go back to my Greenie Zone! I get to end where I started :) Yay! 

Let me tell you how we found out about transfers... Pres. Brown is doing this new thing where he doesn't tell you where you are going, just if you are going on Saturday night. Then on Monday at 10 we find out where we are being transferred and who our companions will be. I guess it is to avoid gossip about new areas and companions... but man it only stressed me out more! ha! So on Sunday, yesterday, at like 8:20 I got a text from President Brown asking me to call him. We were at Niki and Mike's saying goodbye (they are moving to Utah so Niki can go to BYU - check out this legit Halloween project she did), and so I called right then and they also listened in silence... haha! He asked me if I was ready for a change and if I would accept the calling to be a Sister Training Leader and then asked if I wanted to be with an old companion of mine... named Hna. Mehner! Ha! It was so fun and I was totally NOT expecting it! I was very VERY pleasantly surprised! So now I am off for my last adventure! It is going to be awesome!!!!! I seriously can't wait! I am going to miss Hna. Stratford SO much!! We have gotten really really close! And I will miss Fort Collins and everyone I have grown to love here so much! But I'll be back soon enough to visit :) I am ready for Boulder!! :D

Good things have happened this week... we started teaching Patty again... she stopped taking the lessons from las otras hermanas porque no les gusta... :( But, luckily, she said she wanted us to teach her! So we were happy :) 

We told a lady who works at the Food Bank (that we volunteer at) about the Meet the Mormons movie and she was so excited she went to see it yesterday! Can't wait to hear what she thought! This movie is going to change a lot of peoples views hopefully! And Mom, I heard the same thing... number 10 in the box office! Legit! And also thanks for the CD :) I love that song so much!! Mr. Achuleta sings in beautifully :) 

And the other wonderful thing this week, was that I finished the Book of Mormon again :) Oh do I love that book!!! It is true! I know it! I know it! I know it! And the thing I realize more and more every time I read it, is that it is truly written for US in THESE DAYS!!!!! The world is going to get a lot worse and quickly! But we can learn from these ancient prophets and if we heed their council, we will stand in holy places! I know the Book of Mormon is true! I know Joseph Smith was a prophet! I know the Gospel is what brings true and lasting happiness. I am grateful for this knowledge! 

I love you all so so so so so so much!!!! Talk to you next week :) 

Con MUCHO amor :)


Goodbyes to:

Our Spanish Relief Society Group
The Waltons (2) I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!
Donna and Bill (we live in her parents house)


Monday, October 6, 2014

A Week of Teaching About the Atonement - October 6, 2014

Fam Fam :)

This week we had a really amazing District Meeting. The training that was given was really good! The Elder who spoke, talked about how every single talent and gift or even hobby we have truly stems from Christ. It was neat, and then our role-play after was amazing! The spirit was so strong, it was tangible! 5 of the missionaries actually taught together and the "investigator" (who was the Elder giving the training) was truly amazing! I left feeling so good! Just filled with the spirit! I love being a missionary and being able to have these type of experiences on a regular basis! 

We had a wonderful lesson with K. and J. this week!! We taught him the Plan of Salvation, but only ended up getting through half of it (just to the Atonement) because of the great discussion we were having! It was an awesome lesson! He has a lot of questions about where we came from, our purpose, how the Atonement applies to us and how we are able to use it, etc. We were able to answer all of those questions. He told us that no one has ever been able to do that concerning the Atonement for him, but we did! He feels like he understands now! :) I can't wait to go back this week and finish teaching him about the Plan!!

We also had a really great lesson with a less-active lady in our ward. Her husband is not a member, supportive of the church though. She hasn't been to church in YEARS!!! Her husband was out of town when we went to visit with her. We talked to her about the Atonement :) Boy, is the Atonement amazing! She really opened up and told us about when she had cancer and how she knows that Christ helped her through it! She was crying and the spirit was super strong! It just went super well :) I hope we are able to help her and strengthen her more and get her back to coming to church! 

So, we had dinner with Niki and Mike this week and we decided to make these famous Dirty Dr. Peppers we hear so much about! ;) They were ok... my guess is we just didn't do a very good job making them! haha! But it was fun and I was thinking about Max the whole time :)

Also, the Elders were really sweet and left us a gift at the church while we were there for weekly planning! It was really nice! One of them has been a bit of a knuckle- head lately, so I think it was his way of apologizing :) ha!

Now... General Conference :) Oh it was such a great conference! I love and am so grateful that we get to listen to the words of the Prophet and Apostles and leaders of the church! What a blessing that is! It was so fun to get to listen to Sister Esplin :) That was a treat! She did a great job!!!!!! 

There were so many talks that I LOVED LOVED LOVED!!!!! Por ejemplo... E. Christofferson, E. Uchtdorf, Tad Callister, Jorg Klebingat (he was my zone leader's mission president in Ukraine. he had to come to our mission because his got shut down because of the war going on), E. Holland (boy did my ward need to hear that talk!), E. Scott, Carlos Godoy, and then the fabulous E. Bednar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow oh wow oh wow! Their talks were all just amazing amazing amazing!  #ifisayit3timesitmeansmore :) 

It astounds me how loving these men are as they speak! I loved how much they talked about sustaining the Prophet, obeying him and not doing what the world says is ok, because it is very different than what God says, especially now a days! How important it is to keep the commandments! To work on becoming our best selves! And most importantly making sure our homes are filled with love and that we are teaching and learning the principles of the gospel there! Parenthood was talked about a lot! It is ESSENTIAL to teach with LOVE and to bring our families up in the Gospel. Man have I seen the importance of that on my mission! And how grateful I am that I was raised this way :) Thank you family!!! 

I love you all so so so much!!! Transfers are coming up this week... I find out Saturday night what will happen... if I stay... or go... Pray for me!!! :) 

Have the best week ever! I can't wait to hear from you all next week :) XOXOXOXO 

Con MUCHO amor :)

Hannah :)