21 August 2013


On their way to appointments, Hannah and Sister Harrison often pass by a certain house, memorable only because of the large, angry, barking dog that harasses the missionaries from the front lawn EVERY TIME they go by.
Last week, the Sisters saw a woman walking what appeared to be the aforementioned large, angry, barking dog.  Hannah, emboldened by nearly three months of missionary service (she’s chased down CARS, remember), approached the woman to ask her if this was indeed the same large, angry, barking dog that always barked angrily at the missionaries.  The woman confirmed that this was indeed the same dog.  What the woman said next, however, revealed that the missionaries weren’t talking to just any woman and her dog on the street, but were in the presence of a celebrity.  A celebrity famous enough to get a special invitation to the White House to meet the President!  No, not the woman – the dog!  According to the woman, this was THE dog who led the military strike team responsible for the capture and subsequent death of Osama Bin Laden. 
 (We did some independent research and found that the team was indeed accompanied by one canine matching the breed and description of the dog Hannah “met.”)  

Watch the trailer (courtesy Hannah’s brother, Elijah) for the upcoming movie:

 Now, when Hannah and Sister Harrison pass by the dog’s house and the dog barks at them, she realizes it is not just a large, angry, barking dog, but a large, angry, terrorist-killing-American-hero barking dog.  Somehow, it’s not any less disconcerting.

Some other highlights:
God has been handing Hannah and Sister Harrison new investigators.  For example, they were approached on the street by a gentleman who asked them who they were and what they were doing.  Hannah explained that they were missionaries and that they were sharing a message about God.  He responded, “Would it be okay if you told me the message?  Could I come to your church?”  (YES to both!)

Hannah has gained enough experience through service that if she decides not to return to BYU, she can start up her own lawn mowing business.

Hannah sent a drawing of her attempt to mind-meld with the cockroaches in her apartment in the hope that she could convince them to leave.  Evidently you have to be Vulcan for it to work.

Hannah loves the people in Spring dearly.  I know that they love her, too.  Transfer Day is August 28th.  I’ll keep you posted.

04 August 2013


It began with the hairs on the back of her neck rising, followed by the distinct feeling that she was being watched.  Next, out of the corner of her eye, she sees movement.  A suspicion that she is being followed enters her mind.  She speeds up.  To her horror, they speed up.  What would YOU do?  Start running?  Turn around and confront them?  (Me:  Pretend to take a cell phone call.)  What would YOU do if someone chased after your car, waving their arms, urging you to stop? (Floor it)  What if they were waiting outside your apartment when you came home at night?  What if they knocked at your door?  (Keep the lights off and hope they go away).  What if the stalker (or were there two?) shows up at your place of employment? (Call the cops.)    

In her recent letter, Hannah expressed the realization that being a missionary is a lot like being a stalker - you try to get strangers to divulge personal information, such as their phone number.  When they don’t return your calls, you drop in on them at unexpected times or wait for them at places they visit.  You ask their neighbors about them.  And, if a potential investigator that you’ve been trying to contact happens to drive by (of course you have memorized the make, model, and color of their vehicle), you run after them and try to flag them down.  Although the police haven’t been called YET, people have responded to Hannah and her companion in the other ways listed above.  On the bright side, after this stalker training, when Hannah gets home she can get a job at one of those mall kiosks that sell phone contracts or mineral cosmetics. (I’m serious.  Read the first few lines of this post again – they describe my shopping experiences exactly.)

Hannah has already grown to love her companion, Sister Harrison.  Isn’t it wonderful how two strangers can successfully work together so quickly when united in a righteous purpose!  I’m sure this is due, in large part, to the fact that Hannah and Sister Harrison recognized early on that, despite many differences, they had something in common upon which they could build:  They both shared a knowledge of, and a love for – Star Trek!  (Okay, also the Gospel, the Savior, the people of Texas, etc. etc.).  But if you’ve ever seen the episode "Darmok," you know what I mean about Star Trek.  


Hannah says that she has been richly blessed these past weeks.  She and Sister Harrison have two new investigators, they have a full schedule of service and teaching every day, and her health has been excellent.  She is especially grateful for receiving direct and obvious answers to her prayers, and for a greater sense of peace and calm.  Hannah was particularly touched by a prayer offered on their behalf by an investigator they have been visiting regularly. The investigator prayed almost exclusively for the sisters’ well-being, and added, “Thank you for letting me know how much you, God, love me by sending me these sisters.”  Hannah wrote, “It’s so easy to forget, but God doesn’t just share His Gospel through us, He also shares His love.”  Thanks for the insight, Hannah.  I’m determined to do more to help others feel God’s love for them through my actions.  (Anyone have a suggestion as how to tell someone to clean up their mess (again) in a way that communicates both the urgency of the request and also God’s love for them?) 

Lastly, Hannah had another La Cucaracha encounter – in her apartment.  A cockroach came from UNDER HER BED.  She used the closest thing at hand, a Yoga/Relaxation CD case, to dispatch it.  “Now take a deep breath; hold it.  Let it out slowly.  Allow all the stress and tension to drain out of your body – and into the CD case.  Now, slowly raise the case.  Allow all of that tension and stress to crush the roach.  Again.  One more time.  Now take a deep breath; hold it.   Let it out slowly.  Now, you’re ready for the day.”