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October 13, 2008

The day I was a sister missionary

Being a missionary was great.
Being a sister missionary was not.

The change in calling came one week into my MTC experience. My companion was called to be District Leader and after passing his interview the District President sat me down for an interview of my own.

Him: Elder Hansen, you know I've interviewed a lot of bishops, Stake presidents, folk of that nature during my day.
Me: yup, I do.
Him: And you know I've talked with all of their wives as well.
Me: yup, I do.
Him: Well I'm going to ask you to fullfill the same role for E. Seegmiller as these wives did for their husbands.
Me: Huh?
Him: You know, support him, counsel with him, love him...
Me:(interrupting )Er, I don't know if...
Him:(interrupting)Oh, I'm sure you'll do just fine.

Only four days as a missionary and my manliness had been taken from me. Sadly, it was only the first of four such incidents in which I felt like a sister missionary.

When the MTC days were finished, I rejoiced. 24 weeks passed and I had all but forgotten my time as a girl. I guess God thought it was time for a refresher course.

"Do you want to be the Young Women's Volleyball coach?"
This was a question they hadn't trained me to answer in the MTC.
"Uh, I don't think that I'm allowed to be the Young Women's Volleyball coach. I'm just a missionary. Anyway, wouldn't it make more sense to have someone from the Young Women be the coach ?"

Things rarely make sense in Chile.

We made it to the championship game before falling to an under(wo)manned team of four she-goliaths. The steroid charges are still being investigated.

My career record as a coach - 2 wins, one loss

2nd-place trophy in hand, I was now certain that my female days had come to an end. Nope. I was sent to be the sidekick of a missionary who was serving as Branch President. During our first day he gave me a document which explained my new duties. As companion to the Branch President I was to serve as:

- his 1st counselor
- his 2nd counselor
- his wife

While I couldn't believe what I was reading, my companion couldn't believe I didn't laugh.

Him: Hey, I was joking about the wife thing you know?
Me: Sure, I know. I just don't joke about that kind of thing. Had a bad experience in the past.
Him: A bad experience being a wife? Good one.You must be a funny guy, aren't you?
Me: (silent)

It took time but I eventually got used to being a girl. I even chose to become the young women's president of the branch. Maybe that brake down in protocol explains why I was punished by being sent to the office to take on yet another unmanly duty, that of secretary.

Whenever I've talked about missions with others, invariably someone has bragged about being a zone leader or baptizing lots of people. I, on the other hand, brag about being a two-time wife, a young women's volleyball coach, a young women's president, and a secretary. Somehow these other guys always end up appearing cooler than me.

That's why the next time I serve a mission, I plan on being the husband.


  1. pure brilliance. I laughed, I cried (not really). But boy, did I laugh. You are an incredible writer!

  2. Spep- you kill me.

    Years ago I spent many a hour teaching you how to hug girls, talk to girls, kiss girls (not a hands on lesson), basically be around girls... Little did I know the more helpful lesson would have been how to BE a girl. Incredible, Hansen. Incredible.