Monday, August 15, 2016

Sacrificing body parts for a baptism date! oh, and there was transfers....

Why hello again everyone! What a fun week it has been for me and Elder Leavitt. Lots of fun things, finding new people, hanging out with missionaries, teaching some lessons, sleepovers, sacrificing body parts, broken utilities, and transfers. So with that all in mind let us go through the life and mission of Elder Hanks shall we!

The Great Zone P-Day:
This last preparation day was a really fun one, because of the slight change of rules we were free to play sports as we pleased, so if you can imagine about 16 Elders most of which are American, who haven't played sports in a year or so, going outside and playing some American football, it got intense but it was really fun. That was a real fun day, lots of sports were played!

C.....& S........:
So we have been teaching this young couple named C.....& S......... And they are so awesome I could just go and talk to them like all day long. But they are really cool because every single time we go over there they look up stuff during the week and then they ask us questions about what they found and so our lessons have been just in the weirdest pattern- but hey! they are awesome and we are hoping that something good will come out of it.

All of our current investigators are still currently out of town so the original plan was to just do loads of finding this week, which can sometimes means for a long week. However it actually turned out to be the opposite. We have taught more lessons than usual this week which is really good and surprising. On Thursday alone we had lots of finding planned and we actually taught 3 lessons and we got 4 new investigators all in one day! It was like the best day ever! And we even had tea at a members house, and they fed us pancakes but with orange juice instead of syrup! And it actually wasn't that bad!

So to address the subject of this email I have to do some background info. 
So on Thursday this week, one of the elders in our district had to go to the doctor and it was all the way in Manchester.  A senior couple had to take him there early in the morning. So me and elder Leavitt went over on Wednesday night so his companion wasn't alone in the morning. So they came and we went back to our area to work because we needed to find some new people to teach.  In a trio we found loads of potentials and new investigators which was really good. It was a lot of fun too, because in a trio you can do things that you just can't do with two people. His companion was supposed to get back around 6 but with all the traffic and long distances, they were gone all day long, so we finally got back to their flat at 9:00pm. Now it takes us about 1 hr and 15 min to get to our flat from theirs, and because it was so late at night, public transport is a nightmare at night! So we thought we would just sleep there again that night and head back in the morning. Little did we know that the Slovak elders who live with them were on exchanges and so they had 2 more elders with them!  So there we were, 8 elders in a 4 man flat. This isn't a very common occurrence so we took advantage of it and played some games that night and then we all piled into this one room. And let me tell you, if you ever want to hear the most bizarre things ever, it's missionaries at 10:25 at night! The conversation turned to music that we used to listen to back home. Next thing you know we broke out into song! The first being  don't stop believing, Bohemian rhapsody, livin on a prayer, Billy Jean, Jesus take the wheel and many more. Yes simply picturing this in your head is making you laugh right now I know, because we were laughing all night! It was probably the funniest night I have ever had on my mission and after one of the greatest days on my mission, so needless to say Thursday was a great day. But it gets even better because there were so many of us, we woke up early to run down to the park to play some more football, and the Zone leaders even came over! It was awesome!

He is a miracle. So one day we were out and about as we normally are and we get a call from a number that we don't know. I start talking to this guy and he explains that he is from Nottingham and he just moved here to Sheffield, and he went to the Sheffield 3 ward last Sunday. And guess what..... he is not a member but wants to come to our church (because they told him he was in our area) and so he is now coming to church on Sunday. WHAT!!!? So crazy!

K............. & G.............:
They are this really sweet young couple who we found and went and taught this past Thursday and they have this dog that is a pit bull/ staffishire bull terrier and it was so hyper. So as we were trying to teach them this dog was just all over the place and it wouldn't calm down it was ruining the lesson. So I noticed it liked to bite things but I didn't have anything to give it, so this is where the sacrificing of body parts comes in. I just lowered my hand and the dog just started to gnaw on my hand, not hard enough to do damage, (every once and a while he would get me good) but it kept him calmer and in once place, so for the rest of the lesson my hand got chewed while Elder Leavitt taught them the Restoration. Haha not the most spiritual lesson I have ever had but I will do anything for a lesson to go well, and it did, we scheduled them for baptism! SWEEEEETTTTTT!!!!

A........... my Man!
First off dad, guess what your helping me out over here because I got to connect with this guy when I showed him a picture of your Harley!  He opened up to us after that, so thank you dad for being cool and having a Harley Davidson! So A......... is a really nice guy, he is a typical English lad who likes to smoke but we taught him about the plan of salvation and he just loved it! So we invited him to be baptized and he said he would think about it. We said a prayer before we left and after the prayer he sat there with his eyes closed. So we did a power pause, let the spirit talk to him-  as usual He did. I asked A........ how he was feeling, and he said, "I can't explain it any other way, other than just really good" You could say it was a really good lesson. It amazing to see how the gospel just makes sense, and brings so much hope into people's lives. I love seeing that hope in people that they can be with their families forever. 

It's been so amazing to work in this area. We have taught a lot of people, and seen a lot of miracles. With this being the last week of the transfer we have seen a really big spike in our teaching pool. We went from about 3 to 14 investigators, which is the most this area has seen in a really long time, or ever! It's amazing how the Lord always comes thru in just the right time to help those in need. It has been so amazing to see the progress of elder Leavitt, and to work with him. I can't believe his training is already over, but he is going to do amazing things on his mission, I wish I could say that I trained him but I don't believe I did. I think he trained himself through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, I just happened to say a few words every so often. Now onto the next chapter of this amazing experience.

So for transfer night me and elder leavitt made Sopés. It's a Mexican dish that our Mexican next door neighbors taught us how to make on Monday for a family home evening lesson. So we made them tonight and they are soooooo good! Anyways yeah it was a good night, and so for the news regarding

Elder Leavitt: So elder Leavitt is staying here in Sheffield, and guess what!?!? 
HE'S TRAINING!!!! MY BOY IS TRAINING!!!! I am sooo exciting for him he is going to be amazing! Elder Leavitt is so good, he is so nervous because he just got out of training, but he is ready, and I know the Lord will bless him and his new Trainee!

Me: well my time here in Sheffield has come to an end. It has been a great 6 months here in Sheffield. But now it's time to see how my language study has helped, because I will be in a Mandarin Branch. That's right I'm going to NEWCASTLE!! My companion is Elder Liu. I am so excited and nervous. Nervous for the Chinese part, but excited to use my Chinese again, be in the area that I have always wanted to go to, and to start something new. I'm going to miss Elder Leavitt, but I know this is what the Lord has planned for us.

Hope you all have a great week. One last thing to add, is if you are struggling with a something, some sort of problem I invite you to do one little thing. Change your attitude and watch the problem disappear it will amaze you!

Love you all
Wô aì nîmen!

Elder Hanks

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