Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Always listen to the Holy Ghost and look out for English spiders!

So this week has been a pretty good week with some aspect of things. It was transfers this week so thats why I am emailing today, every six weeks when we have transfers our p- day gets moved to tuesdays, so just prepare for that every 6 weeks. I am eating a lot of chinese food so I will probably grow to like it more, I do get some american and english food once in a while and the members here are so good at feeding us too! 

But this week has been a little slow in regards to teaching and finding people - and here is why. This is the time when all the college students are writing their final essays and doing their exams right before Christmas Break, so all of our investigators are saying that they are too busy with homework to meet with us. But they say that they are interested in the gospel - they simply just don't have time. So they tell us to come back during christmas time to teach them. So you can bet that I am bugging some college students around christmas time!! 

So just quickly want to share an experience that me and Elder Chen had this last week. We have a new investigator and he is a college student at York University, his name is H......... He is a very smart kid, and has been in england for 7 years. He has met with the missionaries before, however they stopped teaching him, I'm not exactly sure why but they did. Anyways,  so we thought we would try giving him a call and see if we could teach him, he answered and agreed to meet us. Me and elder chen were in personal study when elder chen asked me, "what are we going to teach Hao?" I had no idea, I had never met him, I didn't know anything about him, I was honestly stuck. Then a couple minutes later elder chen showed me a video of the dedication of the GIlbert Arizona Temple, and said "I think we should show this video to him." I watched it and thought how on earth is a dedication video of a temple in the united states going to help him? Elder Chen told me he had a really good feeling about the video and really thought we should share it, so who am I to say no to the holy Ghost and also my trainer, so I said alright lets show it. 

Well of coarse he was right, we met with H...... and started to teach him, we found out that he had been taught all the lessons by the previous missionaries but never accepted baptism because he had ONE problem with the church. That was dealing with the law of Chastity. However after showing this video to him, he opened up and said that the temple was a place he wanted to go with his future wife. We were in! He then told us if we could help him resolve this one problem, he would be baptized. 

So amazing that something like that can changed the mind of a person. So later this week I believe we are meeting with him and hopefully we can help resolve this concern of his. What a blessing it was to follow the promptings of the spirit. So hopefully more experiences can happen like this. 

England is good and I hope that you all are doing well. The only bad thing is,  there one major problem for me - this will gross some people out-  is the spiders here and yes they are huge ! So that's gross!  So here is a spider and then here is the oldest school in the world built in 627 A.D. So thats super cool, its called St. Peters school and its like a middle school here So sweet for those kids! 


Alright well till next week


-Elder Hanks

Monday, October 19, 2015

First week!

So this week has been one busy week thats for sure, and I am not sure how long this letter will be,  but I will try and make it worth while! 

Me and my companion have been working really hard and its starting to pay off! This week alone we got 18 new potentials or people we can try to teach, so that was really good - good to the point where our mission president called us on the phone and told us how proud he was of us. So that was really good to hear, and a confidence booster for me, because I really needed that. 

But this week we also got our new flat/apartment and yes that amazing garage is ours. Its so cool and actually the most expensive flat for elders in the mission so we are a little spoiled I know. But its been really good to actually have a place to call ours.

my zone..! 

my english attire

So our investigators are mainly chinese, and mainly girl college students from china. But thats okay because it's helping with my chinese a whole lot and has been super beneficial to me to have a chinese companion to help me out with my chinese! He is awesome and so caring and really loves being a missionary. He is a convert to the church and he and his younger sister are the only members in his family. He is so great and really does love this gospel so much- he is so awesome! 

So on the first night that I was here we taught a lesson to this chinese girl right!! Well now we have continued to teach her, and this week we invited her to be baptized and she accepted!!!!! She has come to church with us twice and comes to FHE every monday. So I am super hopeful that she will be my first baptism!!! Her name is Y......... and I pray everyday that she will find the faith to continue on to baptism. Its would be so awesome to have her be baptized. So wish me luck in regards to her!

Also with our other investigators we are hoping to get more scheduled to be baptized this week so lets hope so!! Anyways sorry this one is a little short but its been awesome this week has been awesome. On monday we were able to go to the York minster which is the biggest and oldest building in York so that was super cool and pics will be on my blog if you want to see what its like!! But I love  you all and the church is true, I have no doubt about it!! If you are doubting or may be struggling, the only thing I can invite you to do, is to pick up that amazing book we call the book of mormon and read that!! It will bless your life more than you can possibly imagine!!
Love you  all!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Jolly ol' England!

Alright everybody I am going to type as fast as I can to get as much in as possible. If you want to see pictures your going to have to go to my blog that my mom makes for me because its too hard to attach all of them to this email. Sorry for the inconvenience!

My mission president Pres. & Sis. Pilkington. They are
from Manchester England.

Alright so traveling was a hassle thats for sure. But hey, look I made it to England all my bags are here and I am slowly adjusting to their sleeping time. It was a super long day flying all day long, but I am glad that I wasn't alone. The hardest part about traveling was the fact that everyone around you was watching movies, or playing games, or listening to music, and I sat there are read chinese grammer books, and read my scriptures, and stared at the ceiling because their is no where else to look!  So that was awful but its ok its a small sacrifice for being in such an amazing place. 

Alright well lets go to it shall we! My companion Elder Chen, yes is he full Asian. He is from mainland china and he has terrible english to be quite honest. So there is a small language barrier between to two of us. 
Elder Chen from China! 

But thats ok because I teach him english and he teaches me chinese so it all works out. One funny thing iIguess you could say,  is that i came to england with the expectation that I would be eating regular or somewhat regular food and get to avoid asian food. Well boy was I wrong!  My companion loves to cook, like loves it, so he cooks all the meals, and guess what THEY ARE ALL CHINESE DISHES!!!!! So yay for that! Jk it hasnt been that bad- but lets just say i was super excited to go shopping today so I could grab myself some regular food here. The one thing he does though that I think is hilarious, is he asks me the same question about every 10 min. "how you feel" in a chinese guy accent and way. "You Happy?" Its awesome I just laugh and say yup still ok! Its awesome I love that guy. 

England is like the coolest place in the world. There are old churches and buildings everywhere. Like everywhere you go there is a 18th century church -its the coolest thing in the world! Ohh I guess I should say I am serving in the York area. And its so cool they have a massive minister in the middle of the city and later today I get to go to it so next week there will be some sweet pictures of that. But everything here is so weird and backwards compared to america. They drive on the left side of the road, their yellow light means start going instead of slowing down, that one kind of scared me! I thought that yellow would be a universal thing but it just wasn't! We use the bus system to get around, so I ride on Double Decker buses all day every day so that's an awesome dream come true for me! The major problem here in York is that everyone smokes here- like even kids here smoke, so you smell smoke literally everywhere. But the people here are hilarious their accents are super funny and the second I start to talk they interrupt me and say, "are you from america?" happens all the time!  And there are chinese people every where in this place. Like no joke Everywhere!!!!  It's so great! 

So saturday nights here are so crazy. They are totally opposite from kaysville. On saturdays here, all the lads get dressed up in their suits, and all the ladies get dressed up in very inappropriate attire, and they wander from pub to pub drinking and meeting people. So we were out street contacting and you literally see drunk people fall over all the time and yelling at the top of their lungs the weirdest things. Its awesome- I love it- but kinda scary at times. so if you have any questions regarding england feel free to ask, because thats all I can think of at the moment.

My flat (apartment) is a temporary situation they are getting me and elder chen a new apartment to share with two other elders so I didnt bother to send a picture of it because its a temporary thing, but next week you can expect to see more pictures of me and my flat and stuff. I have had some amazing experiences here, and I have taught only 2 lessons here but thats ok because numbers aren't important its the message we bring. So hopefully we can get some more, we have a lot of potential investigators who say they might be interested in the church, so hopefully this week we will be able to change them to actual investigators. Also my mission turned me into a massive cry baby, haha -  I cry all the time- its bad but oooh well, thats what you get when you are trying you absolute best to follow the holy ghost every single day. So watch out when I get back, I will be crying over everything. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! 

Also finally got to see one of these awesome things so yeah for that!!! 


  Also here is me in the airport waiting after my 9 hour flight to amsterdam, and elder ferrel was sleeping so I was bored and took a picture.  

one more DHS boy! 

Elder Hunter Hanks
Leeds England, Mandarin Chinese

Monday, October 5, 2015

The sum of my MTC life

So lets go over my MTC experience shall we. I have loved spending time here at the MTC. It truly is one of the greatest places on earth and you can only truly know that when you live here, especially for two whole months. Lets see what I have enjoyed here: 

First off the language. The MTC is the greatest blessing to those who need to learn a language. I took 3 years of chinese during my schooling years, and I surpassed everything i learned in the those 3 years I think in my first 3 days, that is no exaggeration! I am still nowhere near fluent in the language, but I am way better prepared than what i imagined I would be. The gift of tongues is very real & prevalent in the MTC, that is no secret. It was so fun to see all my friends here and talk about how our language is coming along! It was so fun, I have learned so much in the aspect of chinese but I know that I still have a ton to learn. 

Me & my comp E. Schwemmer & one of our teachers
My companion has been so amazing! I know that the lord blessed me with the very best companion in the district. I know that for a fact, he was so awesome and made my MTC experience that much better for me and has really taught me a lot and has made me laugh a ton and have a good time at the MTC along with having amazing lessons with our investigators. He is awesome and is going to bless the lives of so many people in singapore. 

I have grown so much over these two months. My love for the book of mormon and grown so much and my testimony of this gospel and multiplied beyond belief. I know that this gospel is true and blesses the lives of so many peoples lives and has blessed mine so much. I know that this church is true everyone, it is real and has great power and blessings that come along with it. 

The lord blessed me with the greatest end to my MTC experience, and let me tell you why. First off what an amazing Conference weekend. It was such a special opportunity to watch conference in the MTC. We heard amazing talks, and really were inspired by our leaders. The new 3 apostles are going to do so great you can just tell. I think my favorite sessions were on saturday especially the morning session on saturday! But then the primary choir reminded me of my time singing in conference in Oct 2008! me and my companions had a good laugh looking at mini me, feel free to go take a gander and see if you can find the mini me. 

Our District Presidency
Then after a great conference we had a departure devotional from the MTC presidency and that was great! but wait it just keeps getting better and better. After the departure devotional we had our regular sunday night devotional and it was insane! So they said that it was a special devotional, but they say that all the time time so we weren't expecting anything special. Then all of a sudden VOCAL POINT walks out and they starting singing, it was the coolest thing. I love vocal point it was super awesome, they sang all of my favorite songs and it was super awesome. The greatest devotional yet by far. It was super awesome, I had two of my favorite church bands                                                                                       come to the MTC while i was there, whats cooler than that! 

look at these sweet lookin' bad boys that I found!
Then after that amazing devotional we went back to our classroom and had an amazing experience thats for sure. Instead of going to the films on sunday night, we gave each other blessings because we are all leaving! It was a super cool experience to see us all use our priesthood and give each other blessings. I was the only one who had previously given a blessing before, so thanks dad for making me do that before i left! But that was a great experience to give my companion a blessing. Then he gave me one and it was his first blessing ever, it was great he did such a great job! It was such an amazing feeling in the room when we finished, then we went back to the room and packed most of our stuff up! 

Now my last day here, is p-day!! So today has been really chaotic with cleaning the room and also packing more stuff, and doing emails and such it has been really really stressful, but the good kind!

Well I am off tomorrow the next time you guys all hear from me I will be in England and loving life hopefully. The MTC has been great i have loved being here! missionary work is the greatest and the word of God goes out to all the world and i cannot wait to be part of that work in England. Ok, well I am all packed up except for a few things, and well I have one bag that is 47lbs and the other is about 38lbs so I think I will be okay on weight!! I just dropped my companion off, so he is on his way to singapore as we speak!

Also quick funny story, my mom sent me some old looking root beers (sarsaparilla) that were in bottles, if you ever want to get some weird looks in the MTC walk around with a brown bottle!! Yeah it was awesome!

Love you all and I'll soon be talking to you all from ENGLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love Elder Hanks