Monday, February 22, 2016

Amazing ZC and Always knock on the last door

Feb 22 2016

Hello everybody how are you all doing this fine week? This week was quite a hectic week for me and elder Von Cannon but you will come to know why later on in this email. 

This P-day me and Elder Von Cannon went to the top of the minster and were able to see the whole city of York and that was really awesome, I will show you guys some pictures later, but that was crazy fun, and the stairs up to them are so small that my shoulders were touching wall to wall, it soo crammed in there!! But so worth it, massive leg work out too, because it’s like 300 some odd stairs but it’s the best!! 

The week started off with an exchanged on Monday and Tuesday. I went with Elder Manu'a who is still Training and he is from Australia. He is so awesome I love that guy, we had a blast together and was great fun. The church came up with this new thing that when you go on exchange, both sets of missionaries go to the leaders area, so there were 4 of us working in these other guys area. So that was great fun we went by some of their investigators and one of them was very interesting. Their name was S..... and S.... is an older lady, but she has some medical issues. She has this really rare blood infection, that causes her legs to swell up and she can hardly walk on them. It’s pretty bad, so bad that you can’t even touch them or you can get infected. So we kept our distance, but it also has this really bad smell to it, because it causes the skin to die, so that wasn’t very fun, but on the brighter side we had a good lesson with her, and eventually invited her to be baptized and she accepted. Now there will be some hurdles to overcome with her legs, but hopefully everything will work out for her. 

Then on Wednesday we had a great Zone Conference. The mission is doing a major push for Obedience, so that was the focus of the Conference.  It was all of the northern Zones of the mission, which has 3 zones. And I was asked to give our purpose in front of everyone. It was alright, all I had to do was state the purpose and then add a little thought to it at the end, but that was good. But Zone Conference was amazing!! We learned so much and there are just some few things that I want to share with you guys. Most of these are quotes but are awesome. 

Chinese speaking missionaries from the northern 3 Zones... York, Hull & ? 

"If you think that you are doing the lord a favor by being on a mission you need to think again, the Lord is doing YOU a favor for allowing you to be here, it is his mission." 

That was a really powerful statement to me. Next we did something kinda unusual we studied about Moses all together. And president brought up some really great points with us. He talked about how the people when they finally were able to leave Egypt -how happy they all were, until they actually started to journey in the wilderness and how they then wanted to go back to Egypt (bondage). And they even saw so many miracles like the dust storm, and the parting of the sea, and even after all of that, some people still talked about going back to Egypt because the trip was hard. It just didn't make sense to us, that they actually wanted to go back to Egypt back to bondage after all that they had seen and experienced. That's when president related it to us and obedience. Often times we see the blessings that come from being obedient and we are happy and joyous, and then something goes wrong we lose sight of it, and we begin to be disobedient again (going back to Egypt).  It was an amazing analogy and it really had an impact on me. I know that obedience is so crucial in missionary work. 

As for the missionary work this week, well that was really difficult. We had very little success this week and it was quite the challenge for us. But we did have some and we are praying and hoping for a better week this week. One good thing that happened this week, was we were knocking on some doors, and this seems to happen a lot to me on my mission, so I will keep doing it. But anyways we were knocking on some doors and we were having little success, a bunch of people were being mean so we left the area, after a couple hours of knocking, and we were walking past this house, and it was soooooooo super decorated like a ton. So I decided, "What’s the worst that could happen, we already have been rejected a ton today, what’s one more door?" So we knocked it and this older lady answered the door, and guess what she was a Christian open to learning more!!!! A MIRACLE!!!! It was awesome so we have a return appointment for this week, and we will see how that goes. But lesson learned is always knock on the last door, because it’s probably going to be something good. 

Then later on in the week we had the old people area. Every door that we knocked on seem to be an elder lad, or lass, who had zero interest in us. But then came 2 doors in a row. The first guys name was P...... and P..... saw us and said "You American?" "yes"  "Well I drove across America in a 1940 Rolls Royce, and saw america and even saw your Salt Lake Area!"  We started talking and he said to come back anytime and we can have a chat about religion, so we will have to see how that goes. Then after P...... we met M......! Now M..... was not very keen on letting us into his home, but luckily he was having some computer problems so Elder Von Cannon being the genius that he is, offered to help and so he let us in. We couldn't fix his computer, but we started to talk about religion, and he told us that he used to go to the Church of England, but thought that they were modernizing everything, and it wasn't for him. He even uses the King James version of the Bible so that was great to know. Well he also invited us back for a chat about our church! So who knows I hope that I can have some 80 yr old conversion stories to tell, that would be really sweet!! But that was for us this week!! 

I love this mission, its soo tough and has a lot of struggles but I am learning so much and know that this is where I am supposed to be!! The church is true and I love you all, and hope that you all have a good week!! 

Love Elder Hanks
I found some Chinese Bamboo! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

White Winter & well, a couple of "Booooms!"

Feb 15 2016

So the title of this letter will come into play at the end of the letter so just be patient in regards to that ok! 
English snow storm

Alrighty then so this week was a very busy week for me and elder Von Cannon but a lot of good things happened this week so lets get started. 

First things first is this week we had our interviews with President Pilkington and that was really great, that man knows what he is doing and its going to be very interesting having a new president this summer. But the interview was really great, and the one thing that he challenged me to do was to get better at Chinese, so a greater emphasis is being put on our language study this next transfer and month. But overall great time with President Pilkington! 

Alright so this really interesting thing happened this past week. Me and elder Von Cannon were walking down the street the other day and something really quite funny and unique happened. We were walking and this black man comes up next to me and I know who he is. His name is J..... and he is twin brothers with this guy named S...., who is the investigator of the other missionaries in our flat. Now I knew S..... and J..... because of that one time I went on a split with elder Walter we ran into J...... on his way out, and as we went to go teach his brother S....... So  J....... tried to listen in but had no interest in the church. Well as we were talking, we of course got led into the church and what we believe and he asked us a question and elder Von Cannon nailed it right on!! And he says this exact phrase, now this is not to be taken pridefully or to make fun of the other elders but he did in fact say this "Wow, you guys are so much easier to talk to, and way more intellectual than the other missionaries, I love talking to you guys, you should come over and talk some more!" BOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!! It was sooo awesome!! It’s a small testimony that we are called to our missions for a reason, Some people are meant for us personally! So even though the other elders tried, it was us that was meant to meet him. so this next week we will be going over to teach him so that will be super fun, especially when S......,  his brother sees a different set of missionaries. I am super excited to teach him. 

Next thing is with our other investigator H..... Now H..... is chinese yes, but has lived here for the past 7 years so most of our talking is done in english, because H.... is almost better at it. But he is a university student here in York and is studying Biology, and Chemistry. So this H..... is a genius and loves science. Now we have been working with H.... from the beginning of me getting here to England for a really long time! And H.... has never been convinced that there was a God, or in the scriptures. And it has been a really hard and difficult road with H..... But a miracle happened and it came through science!!! Because H.... studies chemistry and  was learning about the codes of organ cells and such and H.... came to a realization. H..... said this, sorry lots of quoting in this letter!! H.... said, "After I found out the codes for some of this molecules and how it all correlates together, I thought..... How can there not be a creator, who organized this?" BOOOOOOOMMMM again, after 6 months, realizes that there is a God out there. And now is starting to read in the book of Mormon. H..... still has a lot of work, but it was soo great to hear H..... say it!! What a great thing. 

Then we had an awesome experience. We were down knocking in this area called Fulford a small little town outside of the main city of York and it seems that there was just catholic, after catholic and we were having no success at all. So as we were walking to the next door I offered a small prayer and asked my Heavenly Father to "Please just give me one person who will be interested, just one!" Well we had to go to a tea appointment with a member so we were about to leave, but I thought we need to finish this little street, and guess what. The very very last door, a Taiwanese lady answered the door. We started to talk to her in chinese, and next thing we know, we had a return appointment for this next week!!! The last door was an answer to my prayers and not only that, but she spoke chinese!! What a miracle!!!

Bro. T
The last thing that happened this past week is with a member. There is this 96 year old man in our ward named P..... T...... Now let me tell you I love Brother T.... so much, that man is the greatest person ever. He has done so much over his lifetime and keeps telling us he is waiting for the time that Heavenly Father will unite him with his wife. Whenever you ask him how he is doing, he responds with, "still hobbling along!" It’s the funniest thing ever. So this past sunday we went up to his house to visit him, and he was telling us all of his life stories. It was the best, but then it gets better because as we are leaving his house we look outside and it’s snowing!!!!!! It was soooo awesome, and because it was snowing he gave us some English caps, for free!! So now I really look English!!! It’s the best thing ever!!! I love that man, and hope but also don’t hope,  that he will soon be reunited with his wife!! But an amazing week for sure!!!
True Englishmen now, thanks to Bro. T. 

The church is true everyone and God does here and answer prayers!!! 

Love Elder Hanks

Elder Hanks is learnin' to cook!  Yes, he really did cook this! 

not sure if this is sports related or something scary under the umbrella....! 

Who knew there was a Utah in England?! 

Oh these foreign cars...!! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The 6 month mark!

Can you believe it!! I have been out on my mission for 6 months now!! Its so weird how much time goes by on your mission. Its been a crazy 6 months full of ups and downs and has been such a fun experience for me, and I have learned so much already while being a missionary for my Savoir. So lets get into the week shall we. 

So it started off really awesome, with this past p-day we went on a hike with a member, up to this place called the white horse, which is pretty famous here in York. I took a lot of pictures of things you can see while you are up there, so if you want to see all the pictures I am sure that my mom will be putting them on my blog!! But I will still be sending some don't worry! But that was such a fun hike, and good to get out and see the green hills of england!! England is such a beautiful country and has a whole lot of fun things to offer!! So that was really fun to get out and do that!!

So in regards to finding people this week, we had kinda a rough week to put it simply. Me and Elder Von Cannon did a lot of knocking and walking around this past week, and to our suprise not very many people had any interest. It seemed that this week must of been Catholic week, because it seemed to be that every persons door that we knocked on they seemed to be Catholic, and it made for some pretty rough times!! Along with that we had some pretty funny experiences with people. We also ran into a lot of scientists this week and we got into a small debate with a young university student. The whole time she was trying to prove that religion was wrong, and that there was nothing out there, but of coarse we know better than that. So we simply shared our testimonies with her and tried to help her realize that there was something Greater out there. Well she clearly had no interest to find out, but she ended the conversation with something quite unique. She asked me at the end, if I was willing to have my brained scanned in a lab, to see if I was having unusual brain activity. And she asked me if I heard voices in my head? It was quite unique and something that I have never experienced before, it was actually quite funny! 

Another fun Experience that I had this past week was when I lost the phone! :( It fell out of my pocket one morning on the bus, and so me and Elder Von Cannon had to try and track the phone down, and we used the other missionaries phone to try and call it a bunch of times. And eventually this guy named M...... answered the phone and we coordinated a place to meet up at the university to get the phone. Turns out he was a university student, studing history and well yeah, he totally became a potential, so hopefully we can meet with him, and we also got his number in OUR phone, so thats was a funny experience that we had this week!

Then the last thing for this week happened just the other day! We were out knocking on some door and as you can imagine. Us as missionaries get a whole variety of expressions at the door, some of them are good some are not so good, and well, this one was not so good. We had been knocking for some time and we weren't having much success. We knocked on this one door, and an old man opens the door and is covered in clay. So I asked the man what he was doing, and he said he was making pots. Now back in high school I took ceramics, so I know how to make pots and such, so I offered the guy some help and offeredto try it out, and he had a good old laugh, I think he must of thought I was joking....... but I wasn't!  I wanted to make some pots!
But then it lead to who we were and what we were doing and he didn't have any interest in us. But I know that we left a good impression on the guy and who knows maybe we will go back and try again because the guy was very nice! So we were close but not quite there, who would of thought that ceramics would help out in missionary work! Then we came across another door, and this older lady answered the door and she didn't look to happy to see us  as some people are!! Well, we got talking and she was very against our church and didn't want anything to do with us, so as missionaries the next best thing that we can do is to leave a good impression. So we said, "Ma'am I hope that you have a wonderful day!" and she told me "NO" and then slammed the door. I don't know who says no to having a good day, but she did. So that was a first for me on my mission and I think in my life!!

The mission is so fun and I love being here. English people are hilarious and hopefully we can have some more funny experiences along with some success here next week!!! Well,

I love you all and hope you all have a great week. The church is True!!

Love Elder Hanks

Feb 1 2016 
So this week has been a pretty good week I would say for me and elder Von Cannon. We didnt find a whole lot of people this week but plenty of other things have happened this week so lets get started shall we!! 

So first off, something really quick. My bishop in the ward that I am serving in, his name is Bishop M.... and he is in the same business as my mission President. And they both are very posh (wealthy) so this past Sunday we were able to go over to his house for the first time on the mission for a tea appointment, and well lets just say he isn't shy of showing his success. But he is a great bishop and does a lot for us as missionaries. But it was fun to finally go to his house and sit down with him and his family! 

This past week on Saturday we went by this guys house named D..... Now D...... we have met before but he wasn't too interested in what we had to say, but luckily this time he let us into his home. He is such a nice guy, and we taught him a little bit about our church and while we were teaching him I was a bit preoccupied. Every Saturday D..... stays home and watches his 3 year old son S...., while his wife is at work. Now this can make teaching him very difficult because his main focus is on his son Sean. But this last time when we went to teach him. And all missionaries they have this rule where missionaries aren't allowed to play with little kids, for safety reasons. But its the worst because I love to play with kids, so all I could do was hold out my iPad and he would place his legos on my iPad to stack them up. But it was good because I was able to play with S..... while Elder Von Cannon was able to teach D...... about the church and it was awesome. However it really made me miss being at home and being able to play with all of my little cousins, and even my niece Remie! I miss that a lot!! But its all worth it because I am here to bless the lives of families through this gospel! But that was a really fun lesson. (especially because I got to play with legos!)


Also this past Saturday we had another Service Project because of the floods here in York. This Saturday we went to a park to help clean up the residue from the water that had flooded. And as we cleaned up all the debris, we also had to fill all of the play pits with new wood chips, because the old ones were taken by the water and the rest were soiled and hardened, so they needed to be replaced. So I spent a solid 4 hours hauling a wheel barrow  full of wood chips to different play areas in the park. Never have I ever felt so energetic. I was running with this massive wheelbarrow full of this wood chips, and it was so fun. I love doing service so much and we got to meet a lot of cool people who came to help volunteer and help out. But that was such a fun day to spend half of the day working hard and serving people. Of course the rest of the day and all of Sunday, my muscles were so sore, that it was difficult to move, but that didn't bother me because, I knew that heavenly Father would provide a way to accomplish what we needed to! If you have any chance at doing service for anyone, whether its shoveling someones driveway or whatever, jump at the opportunity because it makes you feel so good!! 

A random small door...

Now I also would like to share with you an experience that me and Elder Von Cannon had this past week. On Tuesday night we had just finished our daily planning and we were closing with our prayer. As I was saying the prayer I asked Heavenly Father to bless us with the chance to get into one house tomorrow, that's it. To just get into one house, because we have never gotten in as a companionship. At the end of the prayer Elder Von Cannon said to me, "that was really specific, and unusual." Well,  thats all that I wanted for us at that moment. And so it came on Wednesday and we were out knocking all day long, and we were finding people, who said we could come back another time, or that they were busy but to try again. We had been knocking all day long and no one was looking to let us in. I was getting a little bit discouraged, we had just finished a street and were about to go try street contacting at the University, however as we were walking back to the university, I looked at this door number 84. I felt impressed to go and knock on the door, and as we were about to walk on by I decided to follow the prompting and we knocked on the door. A university student opened the door and we started to talk, his name is L..... and he said, "its pretty windy why dont you guys come in!" And there it was, the one person who we had prayed for had let us in. We taught him the first lesson and invited him to be baptized, he didn't accept the date of the baptism, but he said that he would read and think about it. But we are going back this week to see how he is. It was an amazing experience for both me and Elder Von Cannon. 

I want to promise all of you that god does hear and answer our prayers. If there is one thing that heavenly Father has blessed me with for sure, is the knowledge that i have about God hearing and answering prayers. I know that he does, and i challenge all of you to pray earnestly and i know that God will answer your prayers!!! No matter what it is you pray for, if you care, then he cares! This Church is true, and God answers Prayers! 

Love you all! 

Love Elder Hanks

Your basic English street

"Killing" off a missionaries shirt who was heading home... yes he was that much smaller than me....!