Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Skype & flooding!

Dec 29 2015




So this is going to be a small little email because of what’s happening here in York. So Christmas was super awesome, it was great to be able to talk to my family I loved every second of it. And it was fun to spend some time at the homes of members, both for dinner and just to visit the older people in the ward to give them some company was the greatest thing ever. That really does bring the spirit of Christmas when you visit the lonely and reach out, which really had an amazing effect on me and my love for the Savior. Then here in England we have something called Boxing day, which is the day right after Christmas, and that’s when all the stores have a really big sale to get rid of all the extra Christmas stuff and such. Well that day it was raining so hard, and it never stopped and it just kept coming down. So because of that I finally had to purchase a coat, because I was tired of being soaking wet all the time, and it just happened to be on Boxing Day so I got one for pretty cheap. So yes mom I finally have a coat now! But continuing on so that was no fun having to walk around all day in the rain. But eventually we got all of our shopping done, we got all the things that we needed, I got a suit, and a coat, and elder Von Cannon finally got him a new pair of shoes after using his pair for about 15 months! So that was a really fun day that turns out to make history. 

So nothing too exciting happened this week in regards to finding people and teaching investigators being Christmas week and all, but we had a lot of fun getting to know the members, and visiting the lonely over the break! So that was really awesome, and an amazing experience.



Now for the crazy part, so York right now is in a massive FLOOD! Homes are surrounded in water, people are out of their homes, the banks are down, and come up every once in a while, the ATM's, don’t work, and there are thousands of people without food or clothes. So the whole northern part of York is under water. It turns out that it rained so much on Boxing Day both in York, and in cities northward, that it all came down and collected in York. York is in a basin, so the water collects here in York and all the rivers have flooded, and now all the streets are flooded, as you can tell by our pictures. The streets are now rivers, the parks are now lakes, the rivers are now who knows where, because everywhere is a river now. So it has been difficult to get around, we have missed some appointments, because of streets being rivers, and we almost didn’t make it home one night because all the roads were flooded and we couldn’t get back to our flat! So right now the church has been turned into a relief center and there is food and clothes and such for everyone who is being affected by the flood. So we are helping out with that at the church this week with that. So this week has been pretty crazy and will continue to be crazy because it never seems to stop raining here so we will see what happens. But this week will be full of service which is awesome i love service so let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse!! That’s why this week was so crazy with emailing, because we are helping out with the church so p-day and everything has been cut a little shorter, but that’s okay, because helping people out is the best thing that we could do!


I love you all, and it’s very exciting over here in England and the Church is true!


Love Elder Hanks




Cars in England.....

  







A picture of my brother next to a cool car in Malaysia - Me next to a cool car in England!



M

Dec 21, 2015 
So everyone I got some great news for you all......... Its Christmas this week. I know right its pretty crazy how fast this year has gone by. I start to think about the year, and it seems like yesterday that I finished my soccer game, went home and opened up my call. Now its December I have been out for almost 5 months now and its really flying by. I love this time of year its the greatest time of year for several reasons. One is because everyone seems to be in a better mood this time of year, because well there is nothing really to be sad about, people are off work, its Christmas, there are lots of parties and things going on which people love here in England. And its the best time of year to think about our Savior Jesus Christ and how he can help us in our lives. But its awesome, we spend a lot of time visiting the elderly people in the ward, who may be up for all the festivities of the year, and dont have a whole lot of family that they can spend time with. So we go around and visit with them and see if we can brighten their spirits. One thing that I have really grown to love is talking to old people they are seriously the best, they aren't mean,  they don't have rude humor, they actually have things to say, and have some pretty funny stories as well. 

Quick story..
Me and Elder Von Cannon had just got out of a tea appointment with one of the bishopric members, and we were in an area that had an older lady in the ward, who the bishopric suggested we go and visit, so we went over and popped by for a visit. Well her name is J..................... and she is the longest member of the ward, so we thought this would be fun. Well background info, Englishmen people don't like it when you knock on their door late at night, which really isn't that late its like 6 or 7 so not late at all. But anywho, we knocked and she comes to the door and yells through the door "who is it?" so we responded with the natural "its the missionaries" She let us in and we started to have a nice chat when we heard a buzzing sound. We looked up an saw this massive bee, like this thing is huge, and for any of you who know, I really don't like bees, (bad previous experience- hahaha! ) and we had to try and catch this bee for about 10 min, which was no fun, but its a good thing we were there or else who knows what would of happened! But its really fun - I like visiting with old people they are the best!
Northern Mission Christmas Party
So also this week we had our missionary party, with all the missionaries in the northern part of the mission. Which was super fun ! I was able to meet elder Chen and Liss again, which was awesome to see my old 2 companions. And also to be able to see Elder Ferrell - the lad that I came in with. So that was really fun, lots of fun things, and we were able to be in regular clothes all day long which felt so weird but it was awesome to have that time to feel almost a little bit normal.

Now for something that happened later in the week. It was saturday and we went out finding for the day and came back for tea, and then headed off to the church for MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!! A............ got baptized on saturday and it was so awesome, I was able to baptize him and it was the greatest experience ever! It was awesome, although a little bit scary because President Pilkington was there and that added some pressure that I could of gone without, but that's okay because A.......... still got baptized and it was the best Christmas Present that I could of gotten this year!! Now I got to go get me some more!!!

Anyways love you all, and hope you all have an Amazing Christmas this year, look for an opportunity to serve someone by you, to reach out a little to bless the lives of others! The church is true!! 

Like our Christmas tree? Maybe we will have a nicer one next year! 
Merry Christmas!! 

Love Elder Hanks

MSo everyone I got some great news for you all......... Its Christmas this week. I know right its pretty crazy how fast this year has gone by. I start to think about the year, and it seems like yesterday that i finished my soccer game, went home and opened up my call. Now its December i have been out for almost 5 months now and its really flying by. I love this time of year its the greatest time of year for several reasons. One is because everyone seems to be in a better mood this time of year, because well there is nothing really to be sad about, people are off work, its Christmas, there are lots of parties and things going on which people love here in England. And its the best time of year to think about our Savior Jesus Christ and how he can help us in our lives. But its awesome, we spend a lot of time visiting the elderly people in the ward, who may be up for all the festivities of the year, and dont have a whole lot of family that they can spend time with. So we go around and visit with them and see if we can 

Monday, December 14, 2015

My new UT companion!



So as you all know this week was the sad departure of my previous companion elder Chen. And well,  I will be quite honest with all of you, that little chinese Elder became my new best friend, he was the older,  but smaller chinese brother I never thought I wanted ! haha! He was the greatest companion that I will ever have on my mission I am sure of it and I loved every single day I had with him. But now I am on to a new chapter on the mission. My new Companions name is Elder Von Cannon. Yes elder Von Cannon is from Clearfield, Utah,  like 10 minutes away from my house!  He is a very interesting kid and has a lot of things he likes to do. He is very very very very smart -  his favorite thing to do back at home was read Wikipedia for fun, he doesn't like sports and doesn't have much love for my sarcasm. But hey we are working through it! He is a great kid, and a good missionary, you can tell he really loves the gospel. He is a shy kid thats for sure, and we dont have much to talk about but thats okay, because I just sing songs, and quote movies and he just looks at me ! But hey its good, now I get to learn from him. I guess my training ended early for me, because well my trainer left, and elder Von Cannon has never trained before and didn't know what to do, so we just joke around and say that president forgot I was a new missionary!! 

But this week had some challenges and some good things too. The bad things first-  with it being christmas time there seems to be a lack of chinese people around here. Normally we go to the university area to find our chinese friends, well,  now with the university on Christmas break, we don't know where to find them, they seemed to disappear! Ether they all went back to china or they are staying in the flats trying to avoid the cold. So we havent found any chinese people yet, but thats okay because we know they are here somewhere ! -  we just got to go find them. It's like the biggest game of hide and go seek! But its all good, because when you do the lords work, he provides a way so I know he will take care of us.

Ward Talent / Christmas party
Some good things that happened this week. Our ward had a christmas party and that was really good, we got 3 investigators to come out to it and they had fun (I believe)  so that was really good! And they did a talent show so that was fun, some people do some interesting things here in england but I thought it was very fun and entertaining!  The next thing is well,  the ward here is so incredibly nice to the missionaries, we have so many tea appointments this month, that I think we don't even need to buy food this month, but along with that, we have been receiving a whole bunch of gifts from people in the ward and that has been so so nice! So missionaries here are well taken care of!  Thank so you much members of York! You are awesome! 

And then the last good thing and the best thing is, hopefully this week we will be having a BAPTISM!!!!!!! His name is A......., he is a business chinese student and we have been teaching him for some time now, and well he looks set up to be baptized this Saturday!! SO hopefully this will occur and I am soooo incredibly excited, he has his interview tonight and i know he will pass, so its looking good for us!! If so this will be my very first baptism!!!!! And not only that but his name is the same someone in my family -  sooo how cool is that !!


going on my first legit English train!

me and my Finnish friend that got transferred,  elder Mikkola! 


Anyways this week has been full of ups and downs, but thats okay because thats the life of a missionary!! 

I love you all, and the Church is true!!

The more you study the more you realize how amazing it is!!

Love Elder Hanks


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thanksgiving & Decemberrrrrrrrrrrrr!

So as most of you know, England can get fairly cold during the winter months, and let me first tell you why. There is no snow here like none at all, its so cold here because all it does is rain and the wind blows constantly so you are always cold no matter where it is you go, so its getting cold here, but don't worry I am still surviving, thanks to my Utah weather adaptation skills. 































So this week I had an amazing experience for the first time while being on my mission. We were out knocking on some doors, in a little neighborhood area, me and Elder Liss. And Elder Chen was on the phone with someone when we knocked so he wasn't there. But while we were knocking we were having very little success. Some people weren't home, others just didnt bother to answer the door, as they stare at you through the window. Some people open the door and say "nope absolutely not" then close the door. But hey we are missionaries and its going to take a lot more that that to stop us. So I have never really been a fan of knocking on doors, mainly because it seemed like it didn't work that well. Well that soon changed..... because as we knocked on this door and a young dad opened the door holding his little 2 year old son, and said "come on in". Me and elder Liss looked at each other not knowing what to do for several reasons. 1st-  Elder Liss is a new missionary and didn't know what to do. 2- Elder Chen was on the phone. 3- We didn't even tell the guy who we were or what we were doing. 4 -We thought "is this guy a member?" 5-  I have never ever had someone actually let me into their house before, but he did. 

So we called over to Chen and Chen realized what was happening and quickly ended the phone call and came over. So we taught this guy the first two lessons in one sitting! It was so awesome he had a lot of questions and it was fun to answer them and to help him have an understanding of the gospel. Anyways we gave him a book of mormon and challenged him to read it and he agreed, and then said we could come back this week. So it was an amazing experience. We also taught him how to pray our way, the proper way, and he said the prayer at the end and it was sooooo awesome!!!!!!

Alrightly well as most of you know this week was transfer week for the mission. So whenever there is transfer night we do something special and just have a good time because we have to be home earlier than normal so that's always good. So this week there will be a ton of pictures just to warn all of you. But it turns out that I am staying in York!!!   So yeah!!!!!


But Elder Chen and Elder Liss on on their way up to New Castle, to start a chinese district up there, and elder Chen is the new district leader for that!! So my days with my trainer are over, even though I am still in training, I'm in week 9 of twelve. But oooh well, my trainer is gone and he is taking my (brother) with him. So my new companion Elder Voncannon will be coming on wednesday. He is also a chinese speaker, so that's good, But I will miss elder Chen dearly and he has been such a blessing to my life, and my missionary experience. So next week you can expect to hear some things about my new companion!!!! 

Love You all and the church is true!!! 
ps. I cooked the food so yeah I'm not starving!! 

 





Strange book titles at the Library ....

Quidditch anyone...?  

Gotta love some English Christmas  decorating!  The only house we have seen with Christmas lights! 






Nov 30th 2015 
So this week was thanksgiving as you all know and well,  it was a different than what one experiences in America. Mainly because well,  England doesn't celebrate thanksgiving!  The only way you get thanksgiving is if you are an american missionary or your companion is american! That's how you get thanksgiving because they must feel bad for us!  But its actually surprising, some British people make fun of thanksgiving. 

Anywho!!!!!! So this week has been really good. We got to meet a lot of new people and got a lot of return appointments which are always the best because then you know you actually get to meet with someone, unless they flog you! Which means they tell you to come by at this time and you go and their not there! It happens quite a lot but its okay because then we come back and get them when they are not expecting you so ha!! Us missionaries are very persistent in our ways of meeting people that's for sure. But anyways this was a good week for us as a companionship as well, because we found out with 3 people you can do a whole lot of finding because there are more of you out there. So hopefully we will be able to find some people to teach this next week. Also while I remember next week is transfers, I don't know whats going to happen with me being in a trio but know that I will be emailing next week on Tuesday not on Monday. 

But anyways kinda a weird story that turns out fine - So this member came up to us at church and asked us if we would help them clean their house because they are moving so we said yes, because we never get to do service over here, so any opportunity you get you take it, so even cleaning houses is good! 


So we get their address and we go there and our ipad leads us to this tiny alley and it was sooo dark. We were nervous to go in their because you couldn't see anything, but the members said they lived here so we had a little faith and went in and we walked down this alley way for a bit, until we came to this door finally!!! And they answered it ! which was good-  but it was really scary for sure!!!


  Here is a sign that our church is true. When you establish another church, heavenly father will find little ways of telling you that its not quite true!
So as you all know this past week was thanksgiving, hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving. With lots of food and pie, and deserts and such. Mine was..... well it was good too! I had almost gone the entire day without even realizing that it was thanksgiving until I came to a members house who was feeding us because I was american- my companions lucky I'm american this week!! So we go into their house and they are super nice members, so great, but they are remodeling their house so we ate on the couch, with our plates on our laps! haha - so fun!  I had canned corn, cheesy potatoes and chicken nuggets!   You got your poultry, potatoes & a side ! hey its so much better than what I could of done for myself so I was really grateful. But then came a really good classic English apple pie, and well they definitely know how to make some pies!! So that was really good. But it really made me grateful for living in America and having my friends and family around me. But hey this is the life of a missionary and its awesome. I'm just grateful to be able to celebrate our holidays over here too! 

Last thing is-  Well,  there are only certain things that you can do as a missionary to have fun, especially as young men you can't do much,  so we take any advantages we can to have fun. So this includes a lot of nerf wars and well a lot of strange purchases!! So this past week I bought myself an amazing blanket!!! And yes I didn't have a mom to tell me that it was too childish or that I couldn't buy it!! But hey this is how we have fun right!!! 




Anyways love you all and i am so grateful for all of your support and love. The church is true and god loves you!

Love Elder Hanks