Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A-up laddy's !

July 24 2016
Happy without our suit coats- it's actually hot !

Found a new English phrase called A-up and it’s the best thing to say, hahah you feel just so funny and well its cool. Anyways holy moly people can I just say hottest week of my life, for the first time on my mission, which has almost been a year people, ONE YEAR, I went outside for the first time without a suit coat!  It was so hot that we went without suits for 3 days straight! I know crazy defying the laws of weather here in England! It was amazing but felt so weird I forgot what it was like to not wear a suit! But the weather definitely was a bonus for this week, and also I guess this thing called Pokémon Go? ever heard of it! yeah it makes missionary work so hard because people are too worried about catching their Pokémon but hey its getting people outside and in our paths so that's really good I guess! So let’s give you some updates on the gators shall we.
This car has 3 wheels...! 
well he is still j.... we are still working with that funny lad. He is planning on coming to church this next sunday and he loves his quad bible! We gave him one and now he uses it to brag to his Jehovah witness friends that the bible we gave him was better because it has more, so that was sooooooooooo good to hear!!! But we are taking our time to teach him - but things are still going good for him.

so this is one of our new investigators and she used to have missionaries over when she was nine now she is like mid 20s' but she is the best! she loves to learn about god and loves to meet with us brings back lots of memories and the best thing about her, is she is obsessed with America so she loves our accents and when we talk about home so we will have to see what she is like more when we teach her this week. The only problem is she’s not a fan of church because of her childhood-  which is a really common response, so we will have to work around that little bugger!!

She is soo funny she always talks about how she loves jesus but hates god, why,  I am still not sure -she hasn't explained yet but we gotta work on that! people don't hate God- not good. But she has a little 10 yr old and he is cool we talk about soccer (football) all the time and now he loves us because I played it and he always talks about what is happening,  so I get all the updates too, so it’s a win win for the both of us!
English gardens...?

Hahaha we have more investigators but for the sake of time and for me, I  wanted to share something with you guys so I will have to skip them. But this week was sad because we had to drop 4 investigators! holy moly soo many but yeah it was really sad!!

And you thought we rode bikes in England...

Now people what I have been waiting to share with all of you. I have been thinking a lot about the temple recently and I have learned sooo much about the temple and how amazing it is. I have always loved the temple but now I love it even more, and my thoughts have gone this way because of many reasons such as friends getting married, me not having a temple to go to, reading conference talks about temples and more and more. but this is something that I came up with after hearing this quote,

"The temple is the greatest University the world has to offer" so I started to think was does a university offer and what does the temple offer! this is what I came up with and look at the difference between the two.

                               University                                                               Temple
                         -hundreds of degrees                                           - one degree of Glory
                         - thousands of classes                                         - one celestial class
                        - hundreds of teachers                                          - one Perfect teacher
                        - a chance to get away from home                       - The closest place to home
                        - meeting new people                                           - serving people
                        -  social life                                                            - Eternal Life
                        - stress, homework                                                - Peace and solace
                        - long lasting friendships                                       - Eternal families

"I love to see the temple, i'll go inside someday!" Please take advantage of the temple and go and see how the lord can instruct you to be better! I love this gospel and love being a missionary! The church is true!!

love Elder Hanks

one of my souvenirs from my family's trip to Singapore 

Monday, July 18, 2016

A boxing offer and our frozen freezer & That make so much sense!

July 18 2016
Alrighty everyone this week was an amazing week! right now its sooo hot that English people aren't wearing clothes Jk mom that was a joke it’s okay! And dad don't worry I am keeping elder Leavitt safe and away from the evils of the world! alright so let’s go into the week shall we, I hope you all had a great week like we did.

So first with J....., or Jehovah witness guy! So we went over to his house early on this week to see if he had made any progress with his reading of the book of Mormon because he had read some before for the first time and so we wanted to see how he is doing! So we go in have a lesson about faith using ether 12 to teach and read with him, when we are about to leave and then he says, "Wait you got to give me more to read, if I am going to be reading this book every night I am not going to read the same thing everyday!" You could say I almost started to dance right in his living room it was the best thing ever! now we got to work on his church attendance but we will get him don't worry! But yeah that was just the best thing to hear from an investigator for sure!

A cathedral for Pday

Interesting thing that happened this week. We had a lesson early on Monday this week with a less active named D....., who is now our missionary wingman! It’s awesome we just say wingman we need you for this and he comes! hahaha he has now been to church every week for the past month! Now he is working on some commandment issues but he is now an active member of the church again! Which is the best thing ever to see someone come back to church and receive the blessings or it! Anyways so we are up in this area, knock on this door and a guy opens up and says this, "I have been to your church before" not a usual response for sure but then he expounds. " It was your big white one in Preston and they wouldn't let me in, now what kind of church builds something like that and then doesn't allow people in?" so I quickly explain that it’s a temple of ours and the sacredness of it, and how we use the temple as one of the most sacred places to us. I thought I explained it in a good way, but obviously not when the guy responds with "that doesn't sound like a Christian church to me!" and then slams the door! Ouch! it hurt a little bit not going to lie!
A cathedral for Pday

Then another encounter however this one was a bit different. We were there knocking on some door when we got yelled at from behind and we looked back and there is this guy sitting in the nicest Porche ever!! He calls us over and tells us that he wants to give us some advice. by the look of his car I didn't object, but he continues to tell us that they only way we can ever really know who God is, is through prayer, and how we need to gain a relationship with our Father in Heaven. For a second there I thought he was teaching me the Restoration but he wasn't. And told us his whole life story about how he was born Muslim but came to England learned English and then became a Professional Boxer and now drives porches around for fun! But he started to ask us all sorts of questions until we stumped him when he asked, "how much do you get paid to do this, and why do you tell people they are wrong?" So I quickly responded with the fact that we contribute our own money, how none of us get paid and that we simply invite people to read and pray to find out who god really is. His jaw just dropped. After realizing what we were doing he offered us the craziest stuff ever. Free boxing classes everyday whenever we want, he wanted to take us out to eat at this crazy nice place in town and offered to give us a lift in his super nice porche! He just started to shake our hands and just gave us so much praise, (it felt uncomfortable really) but it was unique to have praise rather than the other harsh stuff! But that was awesome! so we are going back to see S......  K....., the Professional Boxer  once he gets back from America! hahaha ooh the people you will meet on your mission.

A cathedral for Pday
Then to end this email I should of taken a picture but I didn't! We had to do one of the hardest tasks ever!  It was lunch time and so we went down to grab some food! I was planning on having rice and chicken and veggies, cause got to be healthy right! well I go to open the freezer for my chicken and the drawer wouldn't open! it was frozen shut! I being the persistent kid that I am was determined to get my chicken out. So I finally got the drawer out and saw the excess amount of ice in the freezer and thought we need to defrost this thing quickly before we have to go. So we pulled all the food out, which wasn't much. Defrosted all the drawers with warm water and then we started to chip away at the ice inside to get rid of it all. After about 15 min of this I realize that we were running out of time and we needed to go faster so what did we do. we got creative! First came the bottle of hot water which slowly melting the ice away but not quick enough, so along with the bottle of water I had this amazing idea! You know how most irons have steam in them! hahah yes picture this in your heads! SO YES I got our iron and turned in on and loaded it up with some water! Stuck it in the freezer and closed the door as much as possible! And started to rapid spray the steam into the freezer, trying to make it like a sauna. Haha and it worked! We a solid 30 min we sat there filling up the iron and used the steam to melt it all away! it was awesome! Hahah I left the flat all wet from the water and the steam but it was a great time, definitely one to remember! Well that's all for me this week! hope you all have a great week!
love elder Hanks


July 11 2016
Hiya there everyone! hope that you all had a wonderful 4th of july last week. We had a successful BBQ with the missionaries in our zone and said goodbye to some of our missionaries who were going home from their missions as successful elders! So that was sad to say bye to them but overall the BBQ was a success all thanks to my wonderful mother! I love that lady she is the best!! But this week was an alright week for Elder Leavitt and I. We didn't find any new investigators this week but we are working hard to getting some more people to teach so don't you worry we will get them but I will share some experiences that happened this week.
4th of July BBQ

4th of July BBQ

First. J..... our investigator who is being taught by Jehovah witnesses. Once again agreed that our church "makes so much more success!" But this past week we went to see how his reading and if he had prayed about the book of Mormon, and he hadn't so me and elder Leavitt in our distraught! Were edified by the spirit and we both received and impression to share with Jed the first lesson again and at the end of it we shared a video called "testimony of the book of Mormon" by elder Holland and it was sooo awesome! The spirit was so strong that I almost started to ball in front of this former navy/army guy and elder Leavitt said that he had Goosebumps the whole time. Then we both bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and it was such an amazing lesson, the spirit was so strong there! AHHHH THE church is true and the BOOK of MORMON is amazing please read that book everyday it is the best thing ever!!!!!

Our Sheffield area board drawings...! 

this is what Sheffield looks like on a Sunny day! 

Then we had to say our goodbye's to elder Poho and Elder Bowen in our flat. It was a sad goodbye after living with them for almost half a year, its was a sad departure. But now the flat is really quiet and I am not sure that elder Leavitt is a fan of my singing but he has to deal with it for the next couple of weeks right! But its been alright its been nice to have a little bit of EXTRA space because the house is just way to big for us! but yeah sad day there!

Next up that happened was with this man named J.... Now J..... let us in with the kindness of his heart because it was raining and me and elder Leavitt forgot our coats as usual, and we were just drenched so he let us in. He started to ask us all sorts of questions which lead us to teach about the Plan of Salvation and at the end of us teaching him, normally we ask them questions to see how they understood but J...... recapped the whole thing like almost perfectly. It was awesome we were so excited to invite him to baptism and he even said, "Wow, this makes so much more sense!" I feel like that's going to happen a lot on my mission! But then all of a sudden he looked at his watch and said "oh no I need to go and kicked us out and then ran past us down the street before we could set up anything, like a return appointment or inviting him to baptism, but at least we committed him to read and to pray if our message is true! So that was really good.

Then I had an awesome experience just last night as we were walking back to the flat at night to go in for the night. We ran into this guy named P.....! now with P..... we met him about 4 months ago with elder Cottrell and he wasn't interested but we had a really great conversation with him and at the end of talking to him he gave me some of the best compliments an English person has ever given me, a man that I barely knew, but he told me some really great things, and one of the things he said, was a fulfillment of my Patriarchal blessing! It was awesome. God really gives us his promised blessings in his own time! I love this gospel and know that this is his church on the earth today!!

Please read your Book of Mormon it will change your life!!
 Elder Hanks

Monday, July 4, 2016

The 4th and lots of changes!

elder Poho my Czech friend!
HAPPY JULY 4th everyone hope you all have a wonderful day, I know that I will because I am hosting a bbq for all the missionaries in the zone so that will be fun right?!  Well lets hope I don't burn down the place shall we! But a lot of things have been happening over this past week it has been a really busy week so lets get into it shall we, because we got 4 new investigators which is sooooooooooo AWESOME! 

The very first door we knocked on Wednesday was quite the experience, it was on the great road of (REMIE)ngton road "coincidence I think not!"Anyways so we knock on this door and T......opens up the door barely wearing any clothes-  just wonderful!  It left a mark on elder Leavitt for sure!  But T...... is a young lad like 25ish and has lots of wonderful ideas! We talked for awhile and then it lead into the fact of who we were and what we were doing so it was really awesome! T........ explained to us his version of god, which is the earth, and the tree roots are the brains of the earth and the water is the body of god!? Then he said that all people who kill any animal or insects should go to prison, but then he went on to say that he thinks we should go back to the time when we hunted for food and all.  it was kind of confusing but he offered to listen to what we have to say and took a book or Mormon, so we will have to see what happens with this guy named T........!

We missionaries are thieves! This past week we have had 2 funny experiences with a certain religion. One who we get called all the time and who thinks they have found the name of God, (cough.... cough.... Jehovah) anyways - so normally we have no luck with people in regards to this religion because people are set on their ways. HOWEVER! Twice in one week it was changed and hopefully stealing an investigator away from them!  First with a man named B.......

B.......... is a 70 yr. old man who wants to follow God before he dies, I know kind of sad, but that's what he told us. Anyways we got in with B.......... and he told us that he used to be part of that particular religion but had a fall out with them and no longer was attending. But he still wanted to follow God, so he asked us how we differ from them and our view on what happens about after we die! So we taught this man about the wonderful Plan of Salvation and what happens and I quote from him, "wow, this makes so much more sense, and way better than what ......... believes in. Where is your church I would like to come!" BOOOOOOYYYAHHHHHHHHH! The Spirit testified and he is loving it! SOOOOOO AWESOME I cant wait to see what happens with Brian! So pray for him please!!

Then for J............! he is also a 70 yr old man who wants to find God before he dies! hahah I don't know why I keep finding these people. So this is very interesting with Jed, because he has been a former investigator and has already been taught by missionaries, but the A.P's said that if we used the area book and went by formers,  our teaching pools would increase and its true! it did! Anyways so J........ is currently being taught by the Jehovah witnesses as well, and he always compares us together and sometimes it gets really annoying. So this past lesson he didn't read his book of Mormon, so what did - we read it with him, and I had no idea what to read, I just opened up mine and said we will read this verse, then this and this  verse and sooo on....... And it turned out Amazing the holy ghost definitely guided us on what to say, and read in that lesson! So at the end of this lesson he told us this, "All I want is to find out the truth and get on with it, and it looks like I am leaning towards Mormons, and you are only kids!" Hahahaha yeah I am just a kid, but we have the truth! AHHHHH it was awesome!

last time as a foursome in our apartment....

Sorry this is going to be a really long email here. But then this week we got to meet our new mission President, President Turvey. He is soo awesome, we all got to meet with him for like 30 seconds alone and the only thing he mentioned was Chinese and how he plans on using it, so looks like I might need to pull out my Chinese books again! But he is awesome we had a great meeting with him, and he has a lot of similar views as president Pilkington and said that he probably wouldn't be changing much in the mission so that was nice to know up front, but I am really excited to see what happens over the next year! And then to add on top of that, our bishop got released as well, and so we got a new bishop too, which was crazy hence lots of changes! But the new bishop is a good guy, it just reminded me a lot when my dad was called to be a bishop and when he told all of us, and then I remember when he was released, all the memories came flooding back! So we got two new people to work with now!

Then this past week we also had transfers and well because I am training not much really happened. I am staying here in Sheffield to finish training elder Leavitt which I am super happy to do, because this kid is awesome I am so blessed to have him as my "son" however the sad news is the two elders in our flat who are Slovak speaking elders, both finish their missions and are going home on Tuesday and there are no more Slovak elders coming in so the house that we now live in is just me and elder Leavitt, so its going to be really quiet the next six weeks. But it has been really sad to see them pack and also really exciting to see them talk about how they are going to see their families, burn their sun-faded suits and they even ended strong with a baptism on Saturday! Endure to the end right! So that will be a big change for us this next few weeks, lots of room for just me and Elder Leavitt! But that's all for me! Happy fourth everyone!
The Elders going home - burning one of their suits...

love you all!

Elder Hanks

June 27 2016
Alrighty people so not too much happened this past week sadly but I will try and make this exciting for all of you guys to read here. So I guess the first thing is this week we get our new mission president, President Turvey sot hat will be really exciting but I will admit I am going to really miss president Pilkington he has taught me a lot in my life and I will always remember the impact that he had on my life! However I am looking forward to seeing how Pres. Turvey will instruct us and be able to learn more from him.

This week was great. We found 2 new investigators which was sooooo awesome!!!
First was R........,
So R....... is like a 70 yr old man who has always believed that there is a god, but has never known where to go, because too many churches and not enough energy to go around and ask. So right now its a battle between us and the Jehovah Witnesses, and well I am not worried because I have the truth and the holy ghost is on my side, so that is no real concern, but we are excited to see what will happen with him these next few weeks.

"Riskin' " our lives in the "hood" ! 

Second is W...........,
He is a 50 yr old man, who has 2 daughters and he is soo cool. He is a security guard, but like the higher up people, so he tells all the other guys what to do, and trains them and does all the really bit gigs, like concerts and stuff over here, even at 50 yrs old. So we met him knocking he was busy and didn't have much time, so we gave him a book of Mormon he said he would read it, he did, and so did his 15 yr old daughter (sooo Sweet!!!) And then we went back and taught him the restoration outside, on his door, in the rain while he sat there in his doorway, dry as can be. So I wish I could say the spirit was SUPER STRONG, but rather I was just trying to keep my mind in the right place, while teaching in the rain! But hey it was a great lesson and elder Leavitt taught most of it, so that was super good! I was so blessed to get elder Leavitt the lad Is just a boss!!! I love serving with him, I am going to miss working with this Cowboy when the time comes!!

But this is just a funny story and where the title comes into play. We were knocking on some doors and we weren't seeing much success. However we always keep going so we kept knocking and we knocked on this door and this massive guy, like picture a lad who is 6 '7 and like 340lbs. Alright huge guy! I ask him a funny question to simply get him to laugh, he responds with the English classic "not bothered" I then responded with "well that's alright could you at lea............" and then he yelled at the top of his lungs some choice words I simply cannot say, and then the greatest thing happened! He SLAMMED HIS DOOR SOOOOOO HARD!! That no joke it pushed me back and rattled his windows, and his neighbours windows and everyone came out to see what happened! It was awesome! hahaha elder Leavitt was laughing so hard at it, which I think was great to see him enjoying the rejection of the British!!

The park we walk through every day ! 
But I had a very interesting thought this past week that I thought might be worth sharing.
We have been working on teaching lesson 2 this week with elder Leavitt, and I was sitting there listening to him speak about the plan, and I thought of something. The plan is designed to allow us to become more like our father in heaven, and to live with him again. And I started to think about all the reasons why we were not like him now, and all these excuses came into my head, and then came the thought, "what would happen if our Father in Heaven used the same excuses we did?" Now imagine that!

"ooh sorry I couldn't help you today I was too tired!"
"That wasn't my job to do, it was Joseph's!"
"Sorry I couldn't spare your life, I fell asleep."
"Sorry I just have too much on my plate right now!" etc............
possibilities are endless with excuses

What would happen to us he if did that! Our lives would be messes, we would have nothing, or no one to rely on! That's it! If we truly want to become like him, we will get rid of our excuses and do something for someone else! Ask your father in heaven in your next prayer, "What can I do for you today!?" and see how he plans to work through you to bless the lives of others!

Stop the excuses and help out someone!

l love you all! hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder hanks

Our lives on a daily basis... outside and inside homes...