01.25.2016 Getting in the groove

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope you all have been well. This week has been a good week. There was a World-wide Missionary Broadcast on Wednesday night which was absolutely amazing! Apparently there hasn’t been anything like that for 10 years. So it really was a special thing. We heard from Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, Elder Hales and others. I took about 5 pages of notes.
Chinese class has been going… well. Haha. It’s Chinese. It’s really hard. But at least now I can pick out words and phrases and hope that I got the idea of the sentence right.
Lessons have been good this week. We taught more lessons this week than we have since I’ve been out. So we were pretty busy.
On Friday, a few groups of missionaries decided that we would clean the church as a service project and that was actually one of the very few times I have enjoyed cleaning. There were 8 missionaries there, including me and my companion so it was a lot of fun. After cleaning the church, Sister Hinck and I had the opportunity to go visit Paul and Kirsten again. They are so funny. We didn’t teach a full lesson this time we went over but it’s okay that we didn’t because in that particular relationship, there is a very fine line we need to keep between teaching and being friends. If we go into full-blown lessons, we would lose their trust and probably never be invited back. But going to their home is always fun and makes me laugh.
Church yesterday, and in particular sacrament meeting was amazing. President Kerr, a member of the mission presidency, and his wife spoke and then President Freid, the stake president of Edinburgh Stake spoke. They were all wonderful talks and were so uplifting and edifying. And last night for Sunday dinner, we were invited over to the Parr’s house. They are so fun to be around because they are newly-married and both have served missions.
“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God and for His arm to be revealed.” D&C 123:17
Things may be hard and things may be difficult but I know that as we do everything that lies in our power, the Lord will help us and He will not leave us to suffer alone, lest it be for a small moment for us to improve our faith in Him.
I love you all and hope you are all healthy and well in this crazy winter weather!
Sister Michayla Hassing

01.18.2016 Prayers Answered

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great! We had Zone Interview Training on Thursday which is when the entire Zone (I’m in the YSA Zone so we are spread out all over Scotland) gets together and has a day of instruction and everyone gets a 15 minute interview with President Donaldson. It was amazing. I learned so much about how to become a better missionary and how to truly live up to my potential and do everything in my power to bring people to Christ. The training lasted from about 10 in the morning to 4ish in the afternoon and the entire time I was just taking notes. When the training was done, we went on a Zone Blitz which just means that all the missionaries in the area or all the missionaries in the entire zone in this case, are out proselyting or GQ’ing. Sister Hinck and I are the only sisters in our zone but the Sister Training Leader Trainers -long name- haha came to the training to instruct so we were able to go on splits with them for the blitz. I got to go with Sister DeMille and Sister Hinck went with Sister Wagner and actually taught a lesson to one of our progressing investigators. It sounds like the lesson went really well and it must have because she came to church yesterday! But Sister DeMille and I were focusing on finding with discernment. So usually when we are finding or GQ’ing, we try to stop every YSA-aged person who walks past us but this time, we stopped only the people we felt we should. Everyone we stopped gave us their number and we have been able to contact them! It was absolutely amazing. One girl in particular, her name is Renee, when we stopped her said that she has been looking for direction in her life for a while and started crying when we assured her that we did stop her for a reason. She is so great. We taught her a lesson yesterday and she is so willing to learn. After we found Renee, we just had to stop a give a prayer of thanks because we know that finding her was an absolute miracle.

After the blitz, we went to dinner together as a zone which was really fun. We went to an “American Barbeque” place but it tasted nothing like American Barbeque. Haha. When we finished with dinner, Sister Hinck and I went on exchanges with Sister Wagner and Sister DeMille but because of a new rule, we both had to go their area in Alloa. It is so beautiful there. And being on exchange with Sister Wagner was amazing. I loved it. She is so fun. And what’s funny is that January 15th, the day we were on exchanges, was Sister Hinck’s year mark. And Sister DeMille’s year mark. And they were companions in the MTC and actually met each other in the airport on the way to MTC and then they got to be “companions” for a day on their year mark. So that was great for them.

Saturday was so busy. Were running everywhere and it seemed like there was just not enough time in the day. Dinner was so fun that night though. A recent Chinese convert, Sharry, invited us over to her house for some Chinese food and visiting with friends. That was so much fun!! Everybody there was a recent Chinese convert except us and one other girl who is YSA age and who teaches lessons with us sometimes. There was lots of food… haha. And lots of Chinese that I couldn’t understand which made it even funnier.

Sunday is probably the busiest day of the week for us. Or at least this Sunday was the busiest day we’d had all week… and we had some pretty busy days this week. So to get our progressing investigator that Sister Hinck and Sister Wagner taught during the Blitz to church, we had to walk with her from the university to the church. Which is an insanely long walk. Well, at least for me it is because back home, I wouldn’t walk anywhere. But anyway, it took us about 40 minutes to walk. Then we had church. Church is from 10:30 to 1:30 here and we had a lesson at 3 with Renee all the way on the other side of town. And obviously everyone wants to talk to the missionaries after church so we barely made it to our lesson on time. Which reminds me that I haven’t mentioned that there are 10 sets of missionaries in our ward. It’s not even a very big ward… There are just overlapping zones and districts and the Assistants to the President or AP’s. So there is Elder Haller and Elder Illori- the AP’s, Elder Tang and Elder White- Edinburgh Zone Leaders, Elder Housely and Elder Liu- YSA Zone Leaders, Elder Stevens and Elder Magby- Leith District Leaders, and us. Haha. But anyway, the lesson with Renee was amazing. And we ran from that lesson back to the church to teach something called Mormon Message. It’s something we do every Sunday for some people who live for church. They really don’t have a great home to go back to so on Sunday, they stay at the church all day and so we come and show a Mormon Message, read from the children’s picture Book of Mormon, and discuss it. I love doing that. But after Mormon Message, we ran to the mission home because we actually had a dinner appointment with President and Sister Donaldson. Which was so fun. They are amazing. And dinner was great. But after that, we ran to an appointment with a family we try to visit really often. But last night was really different. So this family- Paul, Kirsten, and their 3 year old daughter Edith- has a very different situation. Paul is a less-active former Bishop. And Kirsten is not a member. Paul actually wants nothing to do with the church and Kirsten isn’t super interested but they love having the missionaries over- and not just any missionaries, it has to be us- so we try to go over as often as time permits. And usually we go and visit and leave maybe with scripture. But last night, Paul asked us to teach Kirsten the 1st lesson. Which really surprised us but we did. And it was amazing. The Spirit was there and we still don’t think Paul is that interested but we could tell that he was really listening. Which is a miracle and an answer to a prayer. We had been praying all week to be able to bring the Spirit into Paul and Kirsten’s home and not just in passing with leaving them with a scripture. We were praying to have a teaching opportunity and out of the blue, Paul invites us to teach a lesson.

I know that as we pray and ask specific questions, we will receive specific answers. That has been something that I have come to realize more as I’ve been on my mission. The Lord answers prayers. And He will continue to answer our prayers as long as we pray with a sincere heart and with real intent. I would invite you to pay a little more attention to things that happen throughout the day and to pray for specific things and then expect for those things to happen. I testify that they will happen.

I love you all and hope you are all doing well!

 

I was just so happy it was snowing...walking in the snow is so much better than walking in the rain.
I was just so happy it was snowing…walking in the snow is so much better than walking in the rain.
Glorious snow!!
Glorious snow!!
Double-decker bus
Double-decker bus
IMG_4216[1]
​Beautiful morning sky 🙂
Sister Hinck and I happy about the snow
Sister Hinck and I happy about the snow
Little bonzai tree at a member's house
Little bonzai tree at a member’s house

IMG_4191[1]

They have some beautiful churches here :)
They have some beautiful churches here 🙂
On a sunny day, the canal right around the corner from our flat
On a sunny day, the canal right around the corner from our flat

​The school that apparently inspired Hogwarts in Harry Potter
​The school that apparently inspired Hogwarts in Harry Potter
​My Chinese friends and Bronwyn :D haha
​My Chinese friends and Bronwyn 😀 haha

01.11.2016 Getting lost is so much fun….

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are all doing well and that this New Year’s Resolutions lasted longer than a week. Haha. This week has been a great week. So much has happened since last Monday.
My companion and I got to go visit Nessie, an 89 year old lady who can’t come to church anymore. We visit her every other week just to come and see how she’s doing and to keep her company for a while. She can barely hear so it’s so fun trying to get the balance of not screaming but not being quiet enough that she can’t hear you.
We also got to see Mary who is also an older lady who lives all by herself and no one visits her. So we do. She memorized all 13 Articles of Faith in one week! We get to have lunch with Mary about once a week too so she is always a bright spot.
Friday night was interesting… haha. We had dinner at a member’s house which was really good. But to get to the member’s house, we had to take a couple different bus routes and get on and off a couple different buses. We made it to their house okay and on time but when it was time to go home, it was about 8:30 and to try to make it less complicated, the members told us to take a different way home which meant going to a different bus stop by their house than the one we had used to come. They pointed to the way we were supposed to go and so off we went. We came to a bus stop and a bus went by on the other side of the road so we decided that this must be the right stop. Well, at around 8:50, no bus had come by. So we called the members and asked when the next bus would be by because they are usually spaced out by only a couple minutes. They said it was only 3 minutes away so we waited… 15 more minutes and still no bus. So we called them again and asked if we were even at the right bus stop and apparently, we were not. So it took us another 10 minutes to walk to another bus stop and at this point, we’d been standing out in the rain for almost an hour in the dark so we were freezing and creeped out. But we finally found the bus stop that they’d actually been referring to and we knew that because one of them had come out to find us and point us in the right direction. However, when a bus came, it was a bus number that we’d never been on before but it was going in the right direction so we just hopped on because at this point, it was about 9:40 and we are always supposed to be home by at the latest, 9:30. So we jumped on the bus and it took us to the city center which is where we got off that bus because it wouldn’t take us to the near vicinity of our flat and we hopped on the bus we usually take at 10, got off the bus at 10:10, and then ran to the flat so we wouldn’t be any later than we already were which was about an hour. When we finally got the chance to call our District Leader and tell him about why we were late and just to let him know that we were actually home, he laughed so hard. We were laughing too just at all the ridiculousness of the whole situation. But now I can say, I will never get lost coming back from that member’s house again.
On Saturday night, we had about 40 minutes “free time” before Chinese class and as a missionary, we never have free time. Or at least you shouldn’t. Haha. So we decided we would run down to the university real quick and try to talk to people to find someone to teach. We call this “finding” or more commonly with the missionaries here, “G.Q.’ing” or “Golden Questioning.” We come up with a couple different golden questions we could use to approach someone and start a conversation with them that could lead to us offering to teach them. One of the questions we used that afternoon was “What do you think is your purpose in life?” We asked a young man this question and to our surprise, he responded, “I was actually just thinking about that this afternoon.” Which is amazing. We kept talking and he was so awesome. He had the greatest questions and he was saying so much about how finding truth should be a certain way and what he was saying fit directly into the gospel! And this is Saturday night, so we invited him to church the next morning and he said yes. Lots of people you meet on Saturday night and invite to church on Sunday who say they’ll come don’t. But he showed up!! And he was so interested. We meet with him to teach a lesson later this week. I am so hopeful that he will want to learn more because he is amazing.
Also this week, we taught a girl named Kwun. She is amazing as well. For our second lesson with her, we took her on a church tour and taught her in the church when we finished the tour. When we took her into the chapel, the spirit was so strong. l know she felt it. She might not recognize it yet but it was there. She is just curious for now but I hope that will change. If she continues to learn and to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know of it’s truthfulness, she will want to develop her faith in Christ and follow Him.
Just in closing, I know that the Lord is so mindful of us. Even with the little things. He knows what we are struggling with and He knows what we need help with. The tender mercies of the Lord and the little miracles He causes to come to pass for us everyday are so powerful. He loves us. He wants us be happy. As we obey Him and live as if the Savior was standing beside us, I know that we will be blessed and we will be able to recognize more fully the hand of the Lord in each of our lives.
I love you all so much and thank you for your support and concern for me.
“Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.” D&C 68:6

01.06.2016 Happy New Year!

Family and Friends,

I am so sorry that this is the first time I’ve officially written anything about an update on my mission. This is the first real p-day I’ve had since I’ve been out here. So here goes…

I am serving in the Edinburgh, Scotland area. I’m actually in the YSA zone which means that my companion and I focus almost exclusively on the university students from the University of Edinburgh. Due to Christmas break and the New Year, the work has been very slow because all the students are on holiday so all our investigators are gone and those we would normally find are out of town. But it’s been good.

Things here are a lot different. Kind of the same, but different. Apartments are actually called flats. Everybody says hiya instead of hey or hi. We don’t have a dryer in our flat but we have washing machine. The water doesn’t come out warm. It comes out hot -scalding hot- or freezing cold.

It rains a lot. Not everyday. But pretty much every other day. At least. And we walk everywhere. Which isn’t bad because for the most part everything is within 10 minutes of walking and if it’s not, the bus stop is. The buses we take are all double-decker buses. Which was completely odd to me the first couple times but now I’m getting used to it. And riding on the other side of the road. I’ve actually driven a few times, too. That’s been strange.

I think the biggest surprise I’ve had on my mission so far has been Chinese. 1. The amount of Chinese people here is so much higher than I ever thought it was cause they all come for university.  2. To teach these people (and some of them don’t know English very well) I actually have to learn a bit of Chinese. I don’t have to be fluent but just the fact that I have to learn a little Chinese threw me for such a loop. So far, the only “phrase” I know is “wo tingbadong” which means “I don’t understand.” Haha.

We really only have one investigator right now but she decided to go to London for the holidays so until all the university students come back, there’s not a whole lot of activity.

Christmas and Boxing Day were good. Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in England because when there were nobility and servants, the servants would be serving the nobility on Christmas so they wouldn’t get a Christmas until the day after so I guess they celebrate Christmas twice and call it Boxing Day. Haha. But anyway, it was fun. We were at some member’s houses and because the mission home is in Edinburgh and directly next to the church here, we got to spend some time there as well. We actually get to spend time at the mission home almost every day so I’ll get to know the Mission President and his wife quite well.

New Year’s Eve was good. I had lots of food. New Year’s day was good as well. The night of January 1st was where it got a little iffy… Several teams of missionaries (mine included) got food poisoning. So the night of the first and the whole day of the 2nd, I was throwing up and for the most part incapacitated. I am feeling so much better from that but now I have a head cold… So instead of hugging the toilet, I am carrying around a roll of toilet paper. Haha. Oh, well.

The main idea is that I’ve been out for a month and that for the most part I am healthy and doing well!

Thank you all so much for your concern and love and support!

Love,

Sister Hassing

The humidity is making my hair crazy!
The humidity is making my hair crazy!
This awesome buffet we went to where the food was literally brought to you on a conveyor belt and you had to reach out and grab it.
This awesome buffet we went to where the food was literally brought to you on a conveyor belt and you had to reach out and grab it.
Some beautiful Christmas lights I saw
Some beautiful Christmas lights I saw
The view from our flat on a rare sunny day.
The view from our flat on a rare sunny day.
We got so much shortbread and chocolate for Christmas so we piled it all in my suitcase and threw it on the top shelf to hide it. Haha
We got so much shortbread and chocolate for Christmas so we piled it all in my suitcase and threw it on the top shelf to hide it. Haha
​Hilarious placement for shops in my opinion...
​Hilarious placement for shops in my opinion…