Yay, I’m so excited to see you all!

These are my only requests:

Wednesday I’m going to be pretty dead, so although I’ll play nice and tell stories and stuff, I would love to get to bed at a decent hour and continue story-telling Thursday.
Thursday for breakfast I would love some homemade, whole-wheat (or maybe half-and-half, I’ll leave that to you) banana-nut waffles.  I’ve been lamenting the lack of possibility of waffles for months.  And then I want to go to the temple.  And then after that I think that I can function like a normal human being again.

Other than that, whatever goes.

I love you and I can’t wait to see you all again!

This week! Gah!




Dear Mama,

Ok, and the rest of the family and various other hangers-on too, I guess.  🙂

You’re right about the weather here being either one extreme or another–we’re back to blazing-hot temperatures at the moment.  It’s been in the hundreds all week long.  Please tell me it’s not quite this hot at home.

I wish that I could have heard you and Julie and the girls perform at church, I’m sure that you did a marvelous job.  I’m glad that I get to hear your and Dad’s solos, at least.  Is anything else interesting going on for Pioneer Day?

Also, a little bird told me that a certain someone has taken over my turf and I no longer have a place to sleep.  Heads are gonna roll, man!  No, don’t worry, I’m just kidding.  It’s really not a big deal because I’m only going to be there for a month and a half and then I’m going off to school.  And after where I’ve lived and have seen as the normal standard of living here, our house is going to seem huge anyway.  I really just need a bed and somewhere to put my clothes for a while.  Heck, just give me a shelf in the basement and I’ll sleep in a tent in the backyard for a month!

I have absolutely no idea what to get for Dad and Jake.  I’m going home with 12 or so elders, so hopefully they’ll have some ideas for me while we hang out in Buc for a couple of days.

As to regrets I have on my mission, um…I regret not sending you novel-length letters every single week, never fail, rain or shine.  Sorry about that…but don’t worry, I’ll have stories upon stories to tell you in a week and a half.  And just to warn you, I probably won’t get email next week, and if I do it will just be five minutes to say, “I’m still alive, I’ll see you on Wednesday.”

Seriously, though, I really don’t regret going on a mission.  I have grown in ways I never expected–and not just spiritually.  Of course I expected my testimony to grow in aspects like prayer and scripture study and being led by the spirit, and they have.  But my testimony has also grown about tithing, and supporting my leaders, and being humble enough to acknowledge to someone when I’ve made a mistake.  I expected a mission to be physically tiring and spiritually trying, and it has been.  But it’s also been absolutely emotionally exhausting at times, which I wasn’t expecting.  Because you really have to put your whole heart and soul into the work and learn to really care about people, even when you don’t want to because you see the negative consequences it’s had for others. Even when your companion comes home sobbing from church because she’s put her heart and soul into helping a certain investigator for the last four months and the investigator absolutely point-blank refuses baptism and won’t give any reason except “I don’t feel like it”.  Even when another companion really loves another investigator who gets all the way to the font, looks at the water, and then says that she doesn’t actually want to be baptized and more than that, she never wants to speak to us again.  Even when one of the investigators that you really cared about–to the point of spending three days trying to find her a wheelchair so she can get to church despite your companion telling you that it’s silly to take too much trouble and arranging for someone to record themselves reading the Book of Mormon because she doesn’t see well enough to read print so fine–later tells off your new companion and insults her heritage and upbringing and later, after you’ve left, refuses to meet with the missionaries any more and then later refuses to even listen to the Book of Mormon anymore.  Yes, it’s been an absolute emotional roller coaster, but do I regret any of it?  No.  I’ve learned what it really means to care about someone–to see them before they’re baptized, and to see them after they’re baptized and the difference that makes in their lives.  And even more than that–to see them work with the missionaries and help advance the work, to see them fulfill their duties and to be a strength to the branch, to see them prepare to go to the temple to partake of all the blessings that are to be had there.  It makes it all worth it, even for just one person.  And where would I be had I not come on a mission?  I’d be farther along in school, it’s true.  But I wouldn’t have grown nearly so much as a person; I wouldn’t have matured as much as I have here.  I would have been just the same person that I was before. [Don’t worry about taking this paragraph out, I haven’t said anything that I wouldn’t say to anyone.]

Well, I’ve spent all of my allotted internet time and then some, so I’m going to leave it at that.  Thanks for all of your motherly advice, and I double-dog dare you to come light my undies on fire.

Love you,



Don’t worry, the bird mites were black, not white.

This week was very boring.  Very much day after day of non-stop
contacting, through rain and shine.  The weather has decided to be
cold and rainy and miserable lately, though Sunday was lovely.

As to my homecoming, everything sounds great.  Can the cookies be
Jill’s soft gingersnaps?  I’ve been craving those for literally
months.  She doesn’t have to make them where she’s coming up from
Utah, but from her recipe.

Short email this week because I’m doing some school stuff.

Love you,


Dear Mama,

Happy birthday to you,
You live in a zoo.
You look like a mooonkeeeyyy…
And you smell like one, too! (imagine me going ridiculously high and squeaky on this last bit.)

I sure love you, Mom!  May you live a long happy life with all of your mental facilities intact.

I’m pretty sure the letter that President Lundberg send out is just a form letter and it doesn’t actually apply specifically to my life or mission.  And I would be disappointed if you didn’t add in your two bits along the way.

Um…let’s see…my life is great lately.  It’s been ridiculously hot here–it was over 40 degrees the other day.  Er…over a hundred and four.  It’s been nicer for the last couple of days because it’s been cold and rainy, but it really seems like there’s nothing in between.  It’s either a hundred degrees (and double that on the tramvais) and you sweat and die, or cold and rainy and you wish you would have grabbed your jacket.

Big news for this week: I’ve bought a bike!  It probably wasn’t the wisest purchase, having only a month left, but it was cheap (and it looks it, haha) and we (the four of us in the Arad district) wanted to be able to ride out into the countryside on p-days.  And the public transportation system in this city is pretty awful, so it’s a lot faster to ride bikes everywhere.  I forgot how much I like riding a bike–I should have done this two months ago.  And I may have given myself saddle-sores.

I  can’t wait to go garage-saling, either.  I definitely miss it.  Speaking of, will you keep an eye out for me for solid-color button-down shirts (even lightweight pastel ones, if you can believe it) and pants that are just a bit nicer than jeans but not quite dress-pants?  Like khakis.  If I remember right, I have plenty of jeans at home, but no khakis.  And undershirts like the girls like with sleeves, not just tank-tops.  Sorry to give you a shopping list, but you tend to pick out what I like better than I do.

Something that happened last week that I didn’t have time to tell you about: do you remember the bird I told you about a few weeks ago that we named Darla?  Her eggs hatched!  And we were growing cute little fuzzy baby dove chicks.  And then a couple of horrible nasty trash pigeons came and pushed one of them out of the nest to fall to its death four stories below and pecked the other one on the head until it died.  And Romanians say they’re the same bird.  They’re not–pigeons are evil, and I’ve developed a great dislike for them.  Doves are OK, but noisy.

Also, because we had a dead chick on our windowsill for a couple of days, we developed a horrible infestation of bird mites.  They were everywhere, and it was absolutely disgusting.  I took pictures, but this computer doesn’t want to recognize my card reader so you’ll have to wait to see them.  We permetherin’ed (the really strong bug killer that’s in every missionary apartment) everything, so now we’re good again, but it was nasty while it lasted.

Well, I’m about out of time, so I’m going to leave it at that.

Love you!



Wow, I can already see Jake-isms affecting your vocabulary.  That was
fast.  🙂

Not a lot of time to write this week, but know that I love you and that I
can’t wait to see you again. Whoever said that you should expect emails to
peter off towards the end of your mission is crazy–I get twice as many
emails now than I did three months ago.

Love you all!


Hey family, I sure love you,
That is great if g-ma and g-pa hansen come to when I get off the
plane, but don’t worry about inviting anyone else. I don’t know what
i want to do when I get home, probably just chill with you guys, and
answer all your super deep doctrinal questions… haha. That will be
cool to see jack attack again… I don’t know what else to say, to
tell you the truth it rally hasn’t hit me yet that I am going to see
you in a matter of hours… Love you, and see you then. Sorry if you
had any other questions that I didn’t answer.

Hey family, I am glad to hear that every one had a great week, I too,
had an amazing week.
We baptized Erin Emmerson on Saturday, and then she asked me to
confirm her on Sunday, and to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost. I
had totally forgot that I was doing it until they announced that it
was time to come up and do it. I read over my little handy card, that
says how to do ordinances, real quick, and then said a little prayer
that I would say every thing right. I put my hands on her head, and I
could feel that I was being helped, which was a very
comfortable/comforting feeling. I said the first part, and then just
waited until blessings started coming to my mind, and then just said
what came to me, which was awesome to be able to have the opportunity
to be the mouthpiece for the blessing. What a great way to finish out
a mission.
I feel like these last two transfers have been two of the best of my
mission. Elder Skelley and I have been trying to keep the rules with
exactness, and we have been greatly blessed for it.
I will be able to check my email next week, so feel free to email me
one last time if you like… Love you guys!
PS. Don’t think I am perfect either, I am ultra trunky, ever dinner
people tell me of nieces, and grand daughters that I need to look up
once I get to BYU-I. I have received more “refferals” in the last
couple of weeks then I have real referrals the rest of my mission,
hah, but no worries, I will do my best to work hard this last week,
endure to the end!
Elder Hansen