Monday, June 20, 2016

A 3 week catch up! June 6th - 20th 2016

June 20 2016
Wow hello again everyone, can I just say that I think there must be something in the water they give us because the time is just going by way too fast, I feel like I just did this thing yesterday but I didn't, but hey ooh well, time flies when you’re having fun right! so let’s hear some fun things that happened this past week shall we.

This week we had our last and final thing with President Pilkington. He came to all of our district meetings and gave us an awesome little talk about missionary work and the love that he has grown for the gospel and it was just so powerful and I am really going to miss President,  that man is just the best. And he gets even better because he gave me 12 boxes of pancake mix and some syrup before he left. Heavenly Father must of told him that I was really craving some pancakes and well he delivered! SOOOOO GOOOD! PANCAKES FOR DAYS!

Last Monday we had to go exchange some money for Elder Leavitt because he had a lot of American cash so we exchanged it and as we were leaving the store a lady came up to us and asked us if we could give her the address to our church she wanted to come!???/ WHAT THAT NEVER HAPPENS! So of course gave her all the details for the church and now we are just waiting to see what happens with this lady, I hope she actually comes!:)

N……….! Wow this guy was soo sweet. So we went on a little blitz with the Zone Leaders because the sisters had to steal their car to go somewhere so they were stuck in our area without anywhere to go, so they came and worked with us for a little bit, it was awesome! We knocked on some doors and on the third door we knocked on, we looked back to the first door and this young lad was standing there waving us down! So we went over and he could speak very little English and he was from Greece. He asked if we were the ones who banged on his door (Elder Smith has a very energetic knock)! Well because of his lack of English he said that he was going to call his friend and have him translate for us. Terror went through my mind, because if we told his friend who we are we have no way of making sure that he doesn't say anything mean or false about us, so in a panic the Holy Ghost always comes in for the save! I remembered that there was a returned missionary in our ward who served in Greece. So I quickly pulled out my phone and asked him if he could talk to our friend instead! So I called this member up and explained what was happening and if he could talk to this guy at the door, and explain who we were-  luckily he was free so they talked for a while, then this guy N………. face lights up and says something in Greek, "oidosajfsdoifas aifjsdpfsdj" Right,  well it turns out that when I finally talked to the member later on he said that N……. loves to talk about Jesus and wants to chat! So now we have to coordinate a time with this member and N…… to have a lesson! Super Cool!!!!!!

Man the funniest excuses you get as being a missionary, sorry this is a long email but a lot of funny stuff happened. So this Elder Omondi and I were on exchange and we got the funniest excuse ever. We asked this lady about hikes- If there was anywhere to go to hike here and Sheffield and she responded and told us about some amazing places that we could go to, well we transitioned into the gospel and we mentioned how we talked about God! People no joke -the second we said God, The lady says and I quote, "sorry I am deaf I can’t hear you, sorry I must go!" After a nice conversation all of a sudden this lady becomes deaf, what a miracle! I didn't know we had the power to do that to people to cause people to become deaf as missionaries! Who would of thunk!?? ohhh English people you got to love them!

We always sit next to the weirdest people on the buses let me tell you! We got on this bus on Thursday to go to a tea appointment but there were so many people on the bus that we had to stand in the aisle. Well this 95 year old lady starts to yell "Jesus People, ooh boy!" Then she goes on to tell us this and hence the subject of the letter. She in the loudest voice possible the whole bus was staring right at us. She began to tell us that Jesus through her talks to people, that he controls her vocal chords and she begins to speak like a man! And she doesn't remember a word she says, but as a 95 yr old women, she goes into the middle of town center and Preaches to people in a man voice, and if that wasn't enough, she begins to ask people on the bus, if they have ever heard her preach. And sure enough people were saying yes and that it was something that she did! I didn't even know what to say when she asked me if Jesus Spoke through me too, because like yes we do speak for him, but not quite to the extent that she was meaning! Hahaha it was a great experience!! And quite frankly one of the longest bus rides i have ever had!

Well that does it for me folks. Ya'll have a great week! And also happy fathers day to all you dads! And of course to the best dad in the whole world! I love you dad, thanks for being the greatest example to me!

Love Elder Hanks!!

June13 2016
Well people lots of things were going on this past week and "So let’s get down to business"

Alrighty there well this week was great for several reasons the first one being Zone Conference!!

Zone Conference was awesome. It was our last meeting with President Pilkington as a mission and it was awesome because it was a last little hurrah for him. The whole time we talked about things that President has talked about for the past 3 years and it was really awesome I learned so much in this past Zone Conference and the spirit there was so strong I just love Zone Conferences, they are the best. And you get to see some old friends as well, I got to see Elder Von Cannon and Elder Cottrell again, along with the old flat mates over in York so that was awesome! So if any of you remember elder Von Cannon he is really shy kid, and doesn't liked to be touched, the only time he ever touched me was when we hugged when I got E.T. (emergency transferred)  to Sheffield. Well when we got off the bus at Zone Conference Elder Von Cannon came up to me and gave me a hug!! AHHH it was awesome I love that elder! However the best thing that happened at Zone Conference was when President and sister Pilkington both got up and bore their testimony on the Saviour together, with music and pictures and they went through his life and it was the most powerful/spiritual moment ever! I love being a part of the missionary work force! The saviour lives and he loves each and every single one of us!

Right after the Zone Conference we went on exchanges with our new district leader and his trainee. So I went with the trainee Elder Osborn and that Elder is such a character what a lad! Hahaha we had a lot of good laughs together and were able to see some fun people. We went to a members house in their ward to practice teach them a lesson and the members acted like they were totally atheist and hated us, needless to say that lesson didn't really happen because elder Osborn didn't know what to do, and I was just laughing because the members were being like the hardest investigator ever! But good experience got rained on a lot!!

We ended the exchange with a good laugh! This week I finally took my driving lessons over here and well let me tell you people! Driving in England is the scariest thing ever!!!!!! I thought that I was going to die, ok not really but its way different. it felt good to be driving again but being on the other side of the road was weird and the instructor was treating me like a 15 yr old learning how to drive, he made me do the whole 10 and 2 hand thing on the wheel, and made me go like 10 miles under the speed limit and ooh I was getting a bit frustrated with him, because "Well I have been driving sir for like the past 4 years now! I know how to drive!" but yeah elder Leavitt was having a good laugh at the guy just making me do all the little basic stuff that I really already know how to do. Nevertheless is was fun to drive again!

And then one little funny experience that we had the other day while finding. Let me tell you how funny English people are. They are SOOOOOOOOOOOO funny! They always say what’s on their mind no matter what, and sometimes they say it without thinking and it can bring out some really funny remarks! We asked one man, what would he do if God came down from the sky and asked him to go to church if he would? Alright got the question! Well this like 40 yr old man responds with, "well I think that I would first ask for his identification first, then if he was God I would go!" At that point I didn't know if he was joking or serious but when elder Leavitt started to laugh a little the guy pointed out that it’s very serious and that we should always ask for peoples identification to be safe!! hahaha ooh the things that you will hear here in England!

Well that's it for me here in England, looks like the hanks are all over the places, I am here, Family is in Singapore, Sister in New York! love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!


elder Hanks

June 6th 2016

Hello everyone I hope that you all had a wonderful week this week because my week was amazing. It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Cottrell but then again because he lives like 10 min away from me back in Utah -  it wasn't too bad I know I will see that guy again, so that is alright. On Tuesday we made the long drive up to Leeds for a trainer meeting, where they were going to show us how to train new missionaries. To keep it short, pretty much they said this, "how you work with them, treat them, show them, expose them, will set the standard for work the rest of their mission, so don't mess this up!" No pressure at all right! So we had this meeting and then like 2 hours later we finally got to meet our trainee's!! drum roll....................................................................

Elder Leavitt come on down you’re the next contestant on the Elder Hanks training segment!!!
My new companion is soooo awesome! So yeah Elder Leavitt is fresh from the Provo MTC (not Chinese speaking) but we’ll manage! But he is from a small town near Las Vegas and let me tell you something that is just the greatest thing a trainer wants to hear.  HE'S A RANCHER!! He comes from an 1100 acre ranch and does cattle, horses the whole nine yards!!! And his accent whoa!!! All he has to do is say, howdy and people stop its amazing!!!! Because of his background waking up at 6:30 no problem at all, in fact sleeping in! He is huge, so tiredness is not a problem, he is social (except for public speaking) we'll work on that! And when we were going back to the flat I asked him to use 3 words to describe him and he says, "I love Work!!!" COME ON PEOPLE WHAT CAN BE BETTER THAN THAT, I WILL TELL YOU NOTHING!!!

This has been such a fun week with him, and the English people love him, and his accent, they love meeting a real cowboy!! I absolutely love training, I think it’s the best thing ever!!! So we got a lot of fun things this week during our work!

1st Service
We started off the week for an investigator named G……… an older gentleman who dropped us the second we showed up at his door again after the first lesson! But that didn't stop us from doing his garden so we had a fun little service project with him, and then I asked him to take a picture for us, and he held the camera backwards and I got a nice little selfie of him instead so I will add that in later!! But we did some service and then left the man for the last time!!

2nd  Church
So everyone has this idea, that missionaries know everything about the gospel and that we can answer every question, which is almost true! But this past Sunday I was talking to elder Leavitt about speaking in church, because he asked how often we speak in church, and I told him that we only do it if someone doesn't show up, and then ask us like last second. Well like 10 min later the bishop comes up to me and says hey we have no teacher for the youth Sunday school class will you teach the lesson! So we had a sweet lesson with the youth, wish I got a picture but it was church, and that wouldn't of been reverent.

3rd Phone
This is mainly for all the missionaries out there serving now, but a lesson that we can all learn from. We were coming back from service with graham and we were on the bus and there was only a couple of people on the bus, besides us. I was tired and I wasn't in the mood of talking to people, but with a new trainee and a desire to be obedient I decided I needed to talk to the man in the back, so I got up and went and talked to him. Had a lovely conversation with him, wasn't interested in us, but nice guy. Then we got off the bus, and I checked my pockets and yes the phone was gone! It was on the bus and that was the last bus of the day! Ahhhhh!   So there was no getting it back! I sat there at the bus stop not knowing what to do, watching the bus drive away, when in the distance I saw the bus stop, a man got off the bus, couldn't tell who it was because he was too far away. But I felt like I should walk towards the guy and as we got to him, I realized it was S…….., the guy that I had talked to on the bus. He had our phone and we were able to have another good chat with him! I know without a shadow of a doubt, that because I was obedient, and talked to that man, he got off his bus 30 min early to give us our phone and then walk home! Such a strong testimony builder for me, and hope that all my friends and family out in the world will not be afraid to open our mouths and talk to everyone! One day that man will receive the gospel!

Alrighty everyone buckle down for this one because this is going to be a fun story! So this last week I wanted elder Leavitt to experience what it’s like to have a door slammed in your face, as soon as possible so he knows how to deal with it. Well amongst knocking we meet a lady named L……..! We had a nice chat with L….., and then she invited us to come in. We came in sat down and then it goes all crazy. She starts to tell us that she is very similar to us in beliefs, because she is a spiritualist! (people, not similar!) She goes on to tell us that she has these 3 spirits who follow her wherever she goes and helps her. One of them is a lizard man, one is a Native American who guides her, and the last one is Al Capone's right hand man, who is her protector. Sounds lovely doesn't it, having a gangster as a protector. Anyways so we start to teach her the lesson which was horrible because she always interrupted us, but we kept going, and then she says to Elder Leavitt, "do you like walking?" with the response "no not really" haha "weird" she says " I am sensing a nomad spirit around you, who likes to walk and that's why you are able to walk around so much!" Then she turns to me and says, "your badge is in Chinese, can you speak it?" "yeah" "that's why I feel a Chinese presence here, you have a Chinese guide spirit and that's why you are so short!" (not funny people) No joke it was the weirdest thing ever, and then to end the lesson when we got to the restoration and pulled out the book of Mormon and invited her to read and pray about it, she responds with this statement at which point I just had it! But she says this, "you know as I have sat here listening to you, I have had a series of revelations, first is my spirits are saying that you guys are just scratching the surface or what’s really there, you almost got it. Second is my spirits are telling me that I should not read that book for some reason. third is, I think that your main goal in being here should be teaching people what the difference is between you and Jehovah Witnesses."

Needless to say at that point I said thank you for her time and left! That was an experience that I hope I won’t forget!

Well that was this week for us here in Sheffield England! I hope you all had a wonderful memorial day, and know that we didn't do anything, because well no one celebrates it!

Anyways love you all, and always remember that our Heavenly Father Loves you,

Elder Hanks

One more picture with E. Cottrell

My new trainee!    Elder Leavitt ! 

A guy named G......unkowingly taking a selfie instead of taking a picture of us! 

E. Von Cannon at Zone Conference

Flat mates from York! 

My new district here in Sheffield ! 

This is how your protect your missionary stuff in the rain !

When your bored at a door step.......