Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coming Up For Air....

This will be short and sweet with a promise for a real post soon. Isn't there something in the scriptures about not running faster than you have strength? That's kind of where I have been lately and some things have been neglected (i.e. this blog). School starts tomorrow and I can't believe the summer is gone! The months, July and August slipped right by without nary a post only a few random thoughts that I needed to get something on the blog.

Hope you all had an enjoyable summer. We enjoyed some good times with our family when everyone was in town except our missing four, Justin, Brenley and their two youngsters Jorgen and Shelley who spent the summer in Malaysia. We missed them so much. Miles and Siena returned from their year in Tajikistan and I turned in my TJK calling card for a Malaysian calling card. Justin did an internship with an international company and will return for his second year in Stanford's MBA program.

We were pleased to hear from some of you. Elder Nikandrov sent a graduation announcement and the picture included was of him holding his brand new son and daughter........twins! WE now have several missionaries who are parents of twins.......four sets I can think of right this minute! If I can find the picture (we are remodeling our house and it is a MESS!!) and figure out how to scan it I will put it on this post.

I am an advisor to a Lamba Delta Sigma sorority at the U of U Intstitute and it is fun. The girls are wonderful but it takes alot of time. RUSH is this week and we have something on the calendar every single day. It is a great program and I think the principles/values of Sisterhood, Spirituality, Scholarship and Service are absolutely so timely and inspired.

Your mission president is busy as ever being bishop and it is exciting because we have so many of our young men either on missions or leaving very soon. He has really made that a focus and the Lord is blessing our ward abundantly. We will soon have about 13 missionaries out and our ward is not a large ward.

Hope you are all still having your own personal missionary experiences. For those of you in Utah wasn't the Oquirrh Mountain Temple dedication today wonderful? The Spirit was so strong and we were very inspired by the talks and focus on the blessings of the temple and temple work for the living (that's us) and dead (our ancestors).

For those of you still in school hope this year gets off to a great start and for the rest of you we also hope that all is well in your life.
P.S. I couldn't scan and download the picture of Elder Nikandrov and his twins so I attached on of a friend we met in of the locals.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finally Home Again!

So much for a new post at the beginning of the month. We left the USA on May 18th and just returned late the night of June 13th. We are still dealing with "jet lag". President Hansen, myself and our daughter Melissa met our son Miles and his wife Siena along with Siena's parents in Germany. We started planning this trip last September and it has been a major endeavor and work in progress. But all our plans came together and we made the phrase, "planes, trains and automobiles" along with cruise ship, ferries, buses, Metros, lots and lots of walking and Hertz rental vans a reality! Just getting 7 people from point "A to Z" for that many days was a major accomplishment!
The main purpose of our trip was to visit St. Petersburg, Russia, Miles' mission. Since getting to Europe is not a frequent event we decided to really make it count. We also spent time seeing family history locations in Denmark, Switzerland, Scotland and Norway not to mention of course St. Petersburg and many places in between.

It seemed the opportune time to finally visit Miles' mission since we have hoped to do so since his return in 2004. Miles and Siena were on their way home from studying Farsi (Persian) this past school year in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

One of the highlights of our trip was going to fast and testimony meeting in the city center branch in St. Petersburg. The Spirit was very strong and thanks to the translating skill of the elders we enjoyed the testimonies of branch members. Their testimonies were beautifully expressed and you could feel the love the Russian Saints have for the Lord, the gospel and also their gratitude for the Restoration. Many also commented on their love and gratitude for the temple (Helsinki, Finland) and the blessing of finally being able to attend the temple.

Even though it has been several years now since Miles' served his mission in St. Petersburg he was grateful to see a sister who he taught and baptized and find that she is still active and growing in the gospel. The saints in that part of the world face many significant obstacles. He also sensed that the branch had grown, had more young people and families in attendance and generally seemed more stable. Russia like so much of Europe, is a difficult mission. We wished we had more time because there were others Miles wanted to try and find and visit.

We were reminded that so much of the time we take proximity to a temple and all the blessings of strong, vibrant wards or branches for granted. For many throughout the world activity in the Church requires significant sacrifice.

Another highlight was visiting the Lutheran Cathedral (sorry I can't remember the name) in Copenhagen, where the original "Christus" sculpture stands. The cathedral itself is beautiful with high arches, white stone and many windows allowing a great deal of light to enter (compared to many of Euope's cathedrals). The Christus is the original of the one that stands in the Visitor Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake, the Visitor Center at the Oakland Temple and several other places. We had a small replica in the misison office in Sacramento. There was a special feeling in the Cathedral and the Spirit was very strong as we took time to admire the beauty of this piece of art but also contemplate the mission and Atonement of the Savior. A woman who worked there told us that she had taken President Monson on a tour of the Cathedral last year. We assumed it was when he was in Copenhagen to dedicate the new temple.

Now we are home we are doing our best to get back in "full swing" with all of our family, Church and other responsibilites. As of April, I have a new Church calling. I am an advisor to Sigma chapter of the Institute Women's Association at the Universtiy of Utah, Institute. "My" Sigma girls are wonderful and I feel like this calling will really be a blessing in my life. President Hansen is still Bishop Hansen (going on three years now) so we manage to keep ourselves fairly involved.

We hope this finds you and yours all happy and well....remember...ONWARD and UPWARD!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moving Right Along!

This entry will be short and sweet! We enjoyed our mission reunion back in April. It was really great to visit with all who came and catch up on what's new in life. We had several "second generations" with us and we must say they are adorable. I had so much fun visiting that I forgot to take very many pictures. I will post a few of the ones I do have here. Hope all is well and that you are enjoying life. Until later.........

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Here's the Other Picture!

General Conference and Reunion Time

Dear Friends,

March was a whirlwind and April so far looks more lake February as the daffodils are trying to make their way through several inches of new snow! The good news is I will dash to the slopes for one more outing one day next week. I will go alone as President Hansen does not ski, especially with less than two weeks to the Boston Marathon which he will run on April 20th.

We dop hope you have an opportunity to enjoy General Conference this weekend and also hope to see many of you at our reunion tomorrow evening. It is an open house, 6:30 to 9:00, casual dress, light refreshments. We are excited to visit and look forward to hearing about what is new in your life.

Our wonderful senior couple, Elder and Sister Myers, recently made a trip to Sacramento for the baptism of a man who they began teaching over three years ago. They were thrilled to see the blessings that have come to him and his family as he prepared for baptism. I tried to post a couple of pictures of the Myers at the baptism with their friends Mark and Hillary but was unsuccessful.

As a missionary, in the midst of the hard work and sometimes disappointment, the seeds that are being planted and will someday come to fruition are not obvious. This experience was a wonderful "payback" for Elder and Sister Myers.

Many of you have shared with us your experiences of staying in touch with your converts. We think that is wonderful because lifelong friends and associations are forged. You can also continue to strenthen and encourage them in the gospel.

Take special care and we send our love,

President and Sister Hansen

P.S. Since my photos of the Myers would not upload I decided to add a little color and life to this post with a couple of pictures of a family outing to the Sugar Bowl in January. Miles, our son who is in Tajikistan for 11 months, was not able to join his dad, brothers and sis. I stayed in Dallas so I could enjoy our three little granddaughters for a few days. I did watch the game on TV and enjoyed cheering our team on to victory! GO UTES!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mission Memories

A group of California Sacramento Mission missionaries gathered with our guest speaker Father Athanasios Paul, a Orthodox priest and friend who came to speak at one of our zone conferences. Elder Nikandrov and his companion met Father Paul one day while tracting. Father Paul's grandson, Chris, was baptized and eventually served a mission to Uruguay. Father Paul visited us, the Hansen's, after our return home in both Salt Lake City and St. George. Father Paul asked to have both Elder Nikandrov and Sister Vaikus in this picture since they were from Latvia and Russia. Unfortunately, most of our mission photos are not digital even though the office elders were always saying......"Sister Hansen, you need to use your digital camera." My reply was, "Elders, I don't have time to learn how....the mission is much too busy for learning computer/camera stuff." How I wish I had listened to the very wise office elders!

Just A Few Pictures.....Mission Memories

One Month and Counting

Dear Friends,

Where did February go and the first several days of March as well? One day it is March 1 and the next thing we know the first week is almost gone! The two of us are really looking forward to our Mission Reunion on Friday April 3, 2009. We decided to once again have an openhouse at our home. That gives us all time to visit and is more flexible in case you have other plans for the evening as well. Casual dress. Light refreshments.

The details will be posted in the Deseret News, Salt Lake City Newspaper in the March 30th or 31st edition. We plan to start at 6:30 and go to 9:00 PM. We could use some help with refreshments and if that is something you can help with please email us at . You can also contact Sevak Tsaturyan for details as well at .

We hope this finds you all well and moving forward or shall we say "Onward and Upward!"

President is running alot these days getting ready for the Moab half marathon later this month and the big one.........Boston Marathon April 20. We have enjoyed hearing from many of you these past few weeks and are always pleased to hear about your families, school, work and other endeavors.

Kurt Francom contacted us a few days ago and told us he was headed to Las Vegas to baptize an man whose family he and his companion taught and baptized in Sacramento. He wanted to let us know that "your missionaries are still baptizing!" Indeed, that was exciting news. Grant Anderson came by to let us know that he has been accepted to a doctoral program at MIT and Michael Bower sent an email recently with several possible logos for his new security system company in the Pacific Northwest. Brad Carmack came by for a good visit with a very nice, pretty girl in tow. Danny Adams emailed to check in and let us know that he and his wife have their first baby on the way. We also enjoyed a long phone chat with Heather Johnson recently. Jeff Johnson called to check in and let us know that he and Karletta were moving to of all places.........Sacramento and wanted our opinion as to what area of the city we would choose to live in. Most definitely Folsom was our reply. We are always pleased and grateful to hear of your successes and our hearts are heavy and our prayers available when you also share your challenges and heartaches.

We were thinking recently back to the time just before we left to serve in Sacramento. At that point it seemed we were leaving behind family -- children, grandchildren, parents, extended family and friends not to mention a business and other things. But in going to Sacramento our lives have been so enriched and blessed by our association with each of you. The Lord always stands ready to bless and guide and give to us more than we can really comprehend. Sometimes it just requires us being willing to step forward, trusting that He will provide for and guide us.

We hope to see you in April. Take special care and always remember the Lord loves you and so do we!

President and Sister Hansen

Friday, February 6, 2009

Onward and Upward

Dear Friends,

Another month has come and gone and we hope this finds you anxiously engaged (if you are engaged to be married then we don't want you to be anxious but very happy and full of the Spirit) in many good endeavors. In all those good things just be sure to not neglect the essential things. Elder Scott gave a great conference talk on this topic several years ago.

As far as we are concerned life keeps moving right along. We decided our motto for the year was going to be "Onward and Upward". President Hansen is preparing for the Boston Marathon which he will run on April 20th. He ran St. George last October and reached his goal of qualifying for Boston. From what many runners have told us doing that with only one year running experience as a base is not typical and a real accomplishment. Can you tell I am proud of him? While he runs and runs and runs I do my best to be a good cheerleader. No marathons for me but I do make "almost" daily exercise part of my life as well. Sometimes something "essential" pre-empts the "good" thing of getting to the gym but not often.

One day last week, I spontaneously, grabbed my skiis and headed for the hills. The sun was shining and there was new snow. The great thing about living where we do is that I pulled out of our driveway at 11:08 AM. I was on the lift at 11:45, skiied 5 runs and headed down the Canyon at 1:30 to pick up my Mom at my sisters at 2 PM. It was great. I love to ski and I don't know why I don't go more often?

We had a special experience last Friday morning. We went to the Draper Temple Open House with our daughter Rachel, her husband Rob ( who is a bishop) and their five children and also our daughter Melissa. It was a wonderful experience being in the temple with our grandchildren. Emily is 12, Abby 10, Lizzie 7, Anna 3 and Davey 1.

Seeing the temple through their eyes was a beautiful experience. Davey loved the animals in the murals on the wall and our prime effort with him was to keep him on the "straight and narrow"(the designated, covered pathways). Anna walked into the Brides Dressing Room and exclaimed, "Oh, I LOVE that sofa!" She is all girl! But the best part was when little Anna turned the corner and walked into the Celestial Room. Her little face became absolutely joyful, radiant and she spontaneously put her hands up and began to clap! Not in a noisy or irreverent way but in an exclamation of pure joy. It was very sweet and tender to see and words do not adequately express the wonder of the moment. It was as if her little spirit knew immediately that she had reached the culmination of her temple experience and that she was in a very sacred, special place.

It is important that we all make the temple a central focus in our life and Anna's joy reminded us how important it is that we find joy in the temple and in the service we do for others within the walls of the temple. Remember your ancestors are waiting. When you take a half turn towards them they will take a full turn towards you.........some mission president we know used to say that!

Be sure and mark your calendars for April 3, 2009. We will have a mission reunion that evening and we are excited to see all of you! Details are being worked out and we will pass along all the pertinent information.

Take special care and remember the Lord loves you and so do we!

President and Sister Hansen

Friday, January 16, 2009

A New Year a New Beginning

Dear Friends,

This blog is going to take the place of Thanks to Daniel Veibell and his efforts we will once again be able to communicate. Keeping in touch with all of you is important to us!

Please help us get the word out to any former missionaries, you may have served with and are still in touch with via "Facebook" or any other means, that we now have a blog. We plan to post at least once a month, as close to the first day as possible, and it will be fun to receive your comments. Daniel has promised to teach us how to more fully utilize our blog and we look forward to connecting with all of you again.

We do have a mission reunion on the calendar for Friday April 3, 2009. Sevak Tsaturyan is helping us get that organized. Please send your current contact information to Sevak at so he can compile a current directory. For future reference anytime you have a change of contact information please email us at .

We enjoy hearing from many of you and we do hope that 2009 has gotten off to a great start for you and yours. More than anything we want you and your families to enjoy all the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for each of you. Serving with you in the California Sacramento mission was one of the great experiences and blessing in our life, a true privilege.

Remember the Lord loves you and so do we!

President and Sister Hansen