Monday, August 24, 2015

Elder Hanks, meet Elder Hanks, who is going to hopefully meet Elder Hanks

So this week was your normal week in the MTC. Classes with classes, and some more classes. But its good because you learn a ton here! I love the MTC

So I had a very interesting experience this week. Me and my companion were walking to dinner when this random kid, Well not kid, but elder walked up to me and said, "Can I give you a hug?" He looked to be normal, and I have never seen him in my life before. So I was a little weirded out but thought I would be nice so I said yes. Then after we hugged I looked at his tag and it said Elder Hanks! Like What!!!!!!!!!!! So crazy we have no relation at all, he is from colorado and we talked for a little bit! But thats not even the weird part!  I felt inspired to ask him where he was serving and when he was leaving- ! 

This elder is going to...................... no not england but to Singapore!!! What!!!!!! First Ammon, then my companion, now this kid is going there too!!! No matter what,  there will always be a Hanks influence in the country of Singapore! MIND-BLOWN!!!!

I told him about my older brother and told him to say hi for me!!  (Coincidentally, Ammon just wrote home yesterday & said to make sure his full name is on his packages & letters, since another Elder Hanks was arriving in Singapore!) 

It was so crazy! Anyways another experience happened this week. We were in sacrament meeting, which is all in chinese so its hard to understand. But anyways this elder gets called on to give a talk in chinese, so he goes on up!! So in chinese how to say hope is xi wang, alright and to say death is si wang. So this elder accidentally mixed them up and so his whole talk he kept saying that he loved the thought of death, and how death is so great! And how death had helped him out so much in his life. It was so hard not to laugh!! I was just glad he did that and not me!! It was hilarious and sad at the same time!! So that uplifted the spirits a little in the chinese branch!! 

But thats my week!! Hope you all are doing fine!! I love being a missionary and the church is true!

Love Elder Hanks

Pics, 1st This is me and my teacher Lei Lao Shi  

Davis boys round 2! 

me & Elder Ferrell coming from a fireside

me & kurt!
Elder Hunter Hanks
Leeds England, Mandarin Chinese

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Aug 19th MTC drop off day was like a miracle!

Was able to host Nate Burnett in the morning! So awesome!
Thanks Tracie for the picture!

I think this is a picture of some of the "hosting" missionaries on Aug 19th
(later learned this is from Stephanie Nielson of  NieNie Dialogues & I
think she gets the photo credit too! What a blessing for these boys
to have meet her! ) 

And then Kurt Volmar later that day! One of the miracles
Elder Hunter Hanks has been praying for, for the
last 2 weeks!
(thanks Volmars for the picture!) 

Monday, August 17, 2015

2nd and 4... Week and pounds gained!

Ni hao everyone!

We are now officially no longer the newest kids in the MTC and its a good feeling, I feel like a pro already!! Now we can start to give some advice to the new greenies. So thats a bonus, also my district gets to be host missionaries this wednesday so hopefully I will be able to pick of 2 of my best friends kurt, and parker and anyone else from Davis! 

So no real exciting events happen hear at the MTC, but a good thing is now we can go play basketball in the gym. They were refinishing the floor so it has been out of order for the longest time!!
So thats exciting! But we had an awesome devotional this past sunday but I will mention more details later on!

Updates on me. the MTC is decent, but here is the problem. My family knows that I am a big eater! I eat a lot, like a lot!!! So its not the fact that the MTC food is really good - but more of it and its available to me Like all the time  and I dont have to make anything!! So when I see something I grab it! Well that has been a real problem because I have gained 4 lbs here in the MTC which is not good. So now I eat less and actually work out in the morning instead of just messing around all the time. So hopefully that trend will change!! So please do not send candy, I'm trying not to get fat here! My mom is already giving me enough sugar!! Send carrots or something hahaha! 
Lets see this past week I got the MTC sickness. I got a cold on monday and have been fighting it all 
week, but its starting to pass so all is well. I'm just glad I got it sooner than later!!  

Alright so this past sunday was so awesome! Our devotional we had was super cool. Normally on sunday for our devotional we have a speaker or a talk! However this sunday was a little bit different! 
It was really funny because earlier in the day I was talking to my district about how I really missed listening to music! because the only music you hear in the MTC is what you sing together!! So this sunday we finally all got to meet in the gym, (cause the floor was done) and Ifinally got to hear, called to serve by 2000 missionaries. And it was awesome I sang so loud!! Fun times!! Anyways so this time for our devotional we got a band to come play for us. The bands name is Nashville Tribute and it was so cool. what a coincident that the day I started to miss music a band came and played for 
us!! Thats why I love my heavenly father - he is good to me. But the coolest thing about it, was that I actually know this band. My dad bought a CD of theirs forever ago, which is called Joseph the Prophet.  I used to listen to it all the time! Well they started to sing that album and I just got super excited and I know I bugged the crap out of my companion because I sang every song!! And it was
awesome!! Mom dad look for that album and listen to it. Everyone else go listen to Nashville Tribute 
it was awesome!! 

Also another cool thing is my best friend Kenadee Anderson just got her call the Nashville Tennessee and I am so excited for her!! She is going to do so well out there. 

Anyways the devotional well, I absolutely loved that devotional it was so cool.

Then after that we went and watched an MTC Devotional talk by Elder Bednar called "How to Recognize the Spirit" and it was awesome. Elder Bednar is so good at talking to missionaries and it was hilarious and so spiritual at the same time! to sum it up for you he said! "The number one question among saints is, "How doI know if its the holy ghost talking or just my own decision?" Elder Bednar's response was awesome he said, "Quit fussing about it, if its good..... do it ! It doesn't matter where it came from, as long as you follow it, and do it! You dont have to know the reason
behind it or where it came from just do it!" I thought it was awesome!

Anyways hope all is going well back at home! Love you all and love this gospel, the church is true everyone I have  no doubt about it!!
Love Elder Hanks

Ps this pic is us playing a game we made up called foot pong!! We played it on our last p-day and its super fun!! It involves a "net" and a balloon, I'll let you figure out the rest!
Elder Hunter Hanks
Leeds England, Mandarin Chinese
me & PK!  (Parker Kowal)

Monday, August 10, 2015

I survived!!!!

Hows it going in the real world? Everything here is great ! I really do love the MTC. It is easily one of the greatest experiences of my life!  And i still have 8 more weeks here!!!

So first things first-  the MTC. The food here is pretty good, but the bad thing is the timming. They have us eat lunch at 11:30 and dinner at 4:30! I'm not hungry at those times, well jk,  I am always hungry but not for a real sit down meal. But its alright cause food is food. But to move on to greater things-  The firesides, and devotionals here are so amazing. They are the greatest part of the MTC because those are when you feel the spirit the most. ITS AMAZING the Spirit that is here. I am still waiting however, to have all the missionaries sing Called to Serve, haven't heard it yet, but cant wait to join them in singing it!! Also you learn so much here, its awesome, its like the greatest version of seminary you can possible imagine.

Little story-  I was told that on the first night of the MTC you could hear the cries of all the new elders through the halls! haha -  Yeah well not true!! But my first night was pretty bad. I am on the top bunk, and the first night was already bad, but then in the middle of the night my one and only pillow fell off my bed onto the floor. And I am on the top bunk, without a ladder so I was trying to be nice to all the elders in the room, by not jumping down to get it cause I would wake them up- because the first night is already hard enough to try to sleep! So i just laid there without a pillow and i couldn't sleep so that was awful-  but its all good now. 

my comp- Elder Schwemmer from Davis! 

The District!! - Elder Anderson, Bradford, Schwemmer,
me, Elder Gasser & Ferrell
So my companion, well yeah,  he is about a foot taller than me! His name is Elder Nate Schwemmer. He is from Kaysville, and we actually took Chinese class together at Davis, so that was way exciting to figure out. Yeah guys - Nate is my companion! So we are good friends and it has been so awesome. My district is made of 6 elders including me-  Elders Anderson, Bradford, Gasser, ME, Schwemmer, and Ferrel. They are awesome i love all of them. They are my best friends already. Which is a good thing because we do everything together, like we are all in the same room. We are all in the same classes, and we all eat together, they are awesome! Not only have I felt the spirit so strongly with them. I have also never laughed so hard so much in my life. Its been great. We go to about 5 hours of class time everyday. And learning Chinese is really really hard. But I can already pray in chinese and bear my testimony in Chinese so thats great. Im learning a lot, and I know its through our heavenly fathers help. 

In the MTC they make you teach a lesson on the 3rd day of being here. So yes mom you were right. We had to teach an investigator a lesson, which is already really hard. But then they made us do it in Chinese! I don't even know Chinese yet, so our first lesson we tried to teach him about the Plan of Salvation, yeah mistake. We learned that it was the hardest lesson to teach. So the first lesson went really bad. But then we went again, and me and my companion prepared a whole lot better this time,  and we taught him about the godhead. And told him about the book of mormon. It was awesome, he asked for a copy of the book of Mormon, unfortunately we forgot a Chinese one so that didn't help! haha,  But we told him we would bring him one next time. So that went well and I cant wait to teach him again. Its such a great experience. 

On Thursday night we met with our branch president, President Gilbert and his wife. They taught us about being missionaries, and it was awesome. Then we all got interviewed by the branch presidency, and I got to be interviewed by President Gilbert. It was awesome- he is so great. He was a Mission President in Korea. Anyways,  we all met up again and they talked to us some more, then President Gilbert called the new district leaders. He called Elder Jackson to be the district leader - But that was for the other district@ He then called ME!!!!!! I am the district leader, and it is so awesome. I love it so much its so fun, and such a great learning experience, and great for doing service. Its been awesome.

I love being a missionary it is the greatest thing to every happen to me. I love my companion and my district so much. And the MTC is just the greatest place ever. This morning i was able to go to the temple, and man for the first time it felt like I was home. Which is awesome since the temple is the House of God, and having it feel like home, that's a great feeling!!! We did some sealings, which was my first time ever doing them. Such a great experience. 

I love you all and miss you all so much! Thanks for all the prayers and everything it is so helpful. 

Love Younger, but slightly better looking Elder Hanks.

ps, its seriously like davis high here i see everyone.

Elder Hunter Hanks
Leeds England, Mandarin Chinese

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Packing, Hair cut & THE day....!

It's begun! 
Haircut - check 

 Bags Packed - Check ! 

 Looks like he didn't pack very much! 
                                                                                      Two years weighs 97.6 pounds


         Heading to the Stake Center
                    to be set apart

 Here we go! 

Is he having second thoughts? haha- nope! 


 Thankful for a cute distraction!

 Arrival time - 1:00pm !

 He wouldn't look back!

Couldn't give us even a wave with those blurry eyes....ours were just as blurry or even more so!  It was a long quiet car ride home! Can't wait for the first email!

Let's hope he takes lots of pictures!