Wednesday, October 26, 2016

BEST WEEKEND EVER!!

Oct 24 2016

Well people we are just going to skip the week and go right to the weekend okay!! Some pretty great things happened, but before I do let me tell you about Tuesday okay? okay cool, not like you guys really have a choice but ya know anywho........ I am just going to apologize now this is probably going to be the longest letter I ever write on my mission so be Prepared!




So Tuesday right long day of street contacting like all day long but then we had a baptismal interview for S........!? (Interview was totally supposed to be on Monday but some one got a bit tired and fell asleep and missed her interview?.? WHAT!!??!! I know! However it actually turned out to be a huge Miracle like we are talking David and Goliath size Miracle here people!

So we are waiting for S........ to show up right and we'll she shows up AND she brings a friend?! Like who brings a friend to an interview?! but ya know it's cool I don't really mind! As long as she chooses to get baptized right! Well coolest thing happens right soooooo......
     They sit down right, and immediately her friend (k...... who is from Ghana and speaks English -  haven't done English in a lesson for a while) starts to fire all sorts of questions at us! And in my mind I'm all going down tragedy lane here thinking she has come to bash us when we are supposed to be having an interview here with her friend?! But luckily I was wrong. Her questions were so good!! Next thing you know elder Zheng is translating the interview to S....... and me and the another missionary go sit with K........  We felt inspired to teach the Plan of Salvation and no joke the whole time she is just nodding her head in totally agreement, saying "yes that makes sense" and so on... Easily by far one of the most powerful, spiritual lessons I have ever had on my mission. The spirit was just so strong I couldn't believe it. And at the end of the lesson this is what she shared with us,
" Never in my life have I felt this kind of feeling before. I have lived a life full of anxiety thinking that I was never good enough, I had no purpose in life, that I wasn't loved or belonged. And what you just shared with me, has changed my life for what I now know to be eternity. Thank you for changing my life!" Then the best thing that I just love hearing more than ever. "You"re view on God, is the best version I have ever heard, this makes way more sense than any other religion, I want this to be true!"

LIKE WHAT PEOPLE!!!! This is on the first lesson! And she is sooooo prepared she has been waiting for this her entire life, and expressed so much of her worries and struggles that she has had, and how the gospel is going to solve every single one of those issues! She is so excited to finally pray and know that she is going to be heard and to read the Book of Mormon, she is so eager to learn about her Loving father in Heaven! It was by far the Highlight of my mission! And to make it even better S........ passed her interview that day! So it was an insanely good day for me and Elder Zheng! What sooo good! So yah really really good day on Tuesday!

So took my theory driving test here in England, really hard, but I passed. So I got 2 of 3 test passed now for the hardest part! I almost have my license!!

Friday: well Friday was a good day as well. On Friday we had the baptism of S.......! It was awesome to finally have her baptism it made this week feel so long waiting for it. But everything turned out great. We prepped the food, everyone was all time, S........ came early. C......M..... our recent convert nevertheless gave a perfect opening prayer. I gave a talk and I didn't butcher it so that was a relief. And S......... only had to be baptized twice (because of long hair issues) but it all worked out great! So glad to have her now a member of the church! Sorry this email is probably really boring for a lot of y'all, but it was a really good week.

The Chen Dynasty!  Left to Right: Elder Glenn (Elder Liss' current trainee), Elder Liss (Elder Chen's former trainee, and my bro), Elder Southwick (Elder Chen's current trainee my other bro), LEGENDARY ELDER CHEN, Me (Elder Chen's first trainee:), Elder Leavitt (My trainee), Elder McTavish (elder Leavitt's current trainee).
                                                      

So now for the good stuff. So on Friday night right after the Baptism us and the Sisters ran to the train station to catch a train down to Leeds. Then when we arrived in Leeds. And when we got off the train poor sister Huang... well she left her bag on the train, ya know the thing with everything in it like iPad, money, credit cards, passport, missionary planner, train tickets.... etc all the necessary things. Haha so after arriving in Leeds at 9:30 we didn't leave the train station until ten when they got her bag off the train in Sheffield. So some change of plans there! So the assistants came and got the sisters and had to take them on a 2 hour drive to Sheffield to get her bag and because we were staying with the Assistants that night, you know what that means. YES PEOPLE..... we did not get to bed until 2:30am sat morning. Only to be told that we then had to wake up at 4:30 to help set up with the meeting! Haha it was so fun, two hours of sleep in a 3 hour meeting but I couldn't be happier do you want to know why?!.,,.,..? Well I got to shake hands with President Russell M. Nelson, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Richard Kearon Europe Area President, Bishop Gerald CaussΓ© of the Presiding Bishopric, Elder Saban of the Area Presidency, and all of their wives! What sooo amazing. And President Nelson said Ni hao to me, since we have that Chinese connection! I don't have the time or the room to tell you everything but I simply want you to know this! They are truly called of God. 3 hours of uplifting messages, celestial music and A Christmas message from President Nelson! Absolutely amazing! I will just share with you my favorite quote of the meeting,
"God can easily, willingly and lovingly give you all that he has, and we can enjoy all that he has. But he cannot give us who he is, we have to earn that. And that's why we are here."      SOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD! 

The whole Leeds Mission! ( E. Hanks right in the center behind the elder with the turquoise tie)

I love missions, they are the greatest thing ever. I have experienced so much more than what I ever expected to, I have met and shook hands with Apostles and Prophets, strengthened and solidified my testimony of this gospel, met famous Singers (Osmonds), made life long friends, overcomes struggles and challenges, seen a new country, learn a new language, and most importantly I have leaned what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, which is only obtained through a lifetime of Christlike service. I have learned of my Merciful older  Brother And his amazing role in my life, and truly learned that this truly is His only true Church on the Earth today! I love my Father in Heaven!


Love you all! Have an amazing week!
Love
Elder HanksιŸ“ι•·θ€

The AP shirt that they won't let me sign......

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rain, Rain, Rain, Baptism and there is some duck feet in there too!

Oct 17 2016
Well team not going to lie, I think that it rained every single day this week, and some days it was a little much. Newcastle is so weird it starts out with blue skies, so you bring a light coat because it's a little cold. Then out of NOWHERE a torrential downpour of rain for a solid 10 min. Then back to blues skies, light rain here and then, and then another downpour. Hahaha what is going on!?? Gotta love England right.

Well family I can't really say that very much happened this week for us over here in the Newcastle branch so I think this is going to be a short but sweet letter. So one thing that happened this week was we had our interviews with President. President Turvey is so amazing I can only imagine what it must be like to be a Mission President.  He is so awesome though I loved being able to talk just one on one with President.

One thing that happened this week was that I corrected and revised a CVC (which is a resume in America) for our friend C….M….. this week. It was fun I haven't corrected something since being back in York with Elder Chen, so that was a nice addition to the week, if any of you guys need some revision help, I'm your go to guy! But this week was pretty busy for us prepping for our BAPTISM!!!
πŸŒŠπŸ’¦πŸ’§πŸŒŠπŸ’¦πŸ€˜πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

So Saturday morning was an exciting time for us, as we headed to the chapel to begin to fill up the font for our baptism at 12. (Had to do it early for Stake Conference) but we went and bought all the food, set up the chairs and got the programs all sorted! And man let me just tell you this baptism was First Class. It went sooo good! C…..M…… came early (brought a friend too) already doing missionary work!:) we took some pictures and then everyone showed up and it was Awesome! And at the baptism the other elders investigator came and he said that after the baptism he wanted to be baptized as well! So they should be getting a baptism at the end of the month! Yay work is going forward for the Chinese district! Picture number 1 shows you my excitement/stress before the baptism and picture number 2 shows my excitement after the baptism! Ahhh best day ever and then he was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Wow it was the best thing ever! Love love love being a missionary. 

Then to end the almost perfect week we had Stake Conference and we had a really cool meeting. All the missionaries and all the recent converts in the Stake met with the Stake Presidency, President and Sister Turvey, and a seventy Elder Adler and his wife. And we got to hear every conversion story in the room, it was absolutely one of the most spiritual and amazing experiences to hear how this people came to know, all because missionaries or a friend introduced them into the gospel. It was absolutely amazing! And the newest member C…….M……. stood up and in his simple and broken English his gratitude towards us and his excitement to be a member of the church. Best feeling ever! Well family and friends good week this week, looking forward to a great week next week. Hope you all had a wonderful week and we will talk to you all next week! Stay tuned next week to hear about our Meeting with President Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve and Potentially another baptism!:) love you all

Love
Elder Hanks ιŸ“ι•·θ€
Pictures
1. C...M....'s baptism
2. How I felt after the baptism
3. Our sweet setup
4. Saying bye to our member V...... who went home today!:(










Oct 10 2016
Hey hey hey!!!!! Monday was a normal day for us, elder Zheng wanted to go do some window shopping so we went and look at the priciest stores in Newcastle and well they were definitely posh stores. The cheapest tie that I saw in the stores was £69 ($84.00) ! Yes people for a tie, I do not understand. But then with the extra time that we had we went to this store called Primark! Primark is absolutely amazing! So cheap and has English style everything. So we went there got a flat tie, with the four elders and then we ended at the chapel.

Tuesday was a day of first that is for sure. So every Tuesday me and elder Zheng go and do service for this place. But before we do service they always feed us proper, proper Cantonese food. And we'll this week I showed up and got my rice and next thing ya know there was a duck leg in my bowl. The WHOLE STINKIN LEG! Leg, bones, webbed feet, and skin. Oooohhhh goodness people let me tell you, I tried it, and we will leave it at that. Never thought I would have eat things like that in England.

Wednesday was a pretty sweet we got to do a Zone Service project which is pictured below, but we all went to a park early in the morning and we cleaned it up, painted, planted bushes, and all sorts of things like that. Never in my life until now would I be grateful to my parents for teaching me how to weed, and sweep, and work hard the proper way, because it is just so much better the first time when you do it the right way. Some missionaries need to learn that, so thanks mom and dad! Then on Thursday we had our zone training on how to use members more after the inspiring general conference talks, we were trained on what we can do better to help them. Then on Thursday and Friday unfortunately we had to drop 2 of our investigators this week, because they weren't keeping their commitments which is always the saddest thing is when they are so close to receiving God's blessings but because of their own efforts they won't be able to receive them, just yet. So sad, but funny thing for ya. In England you tend to see some weird things. So me and elder Zheng got a good laugh when on Friday we saw a lady walking a cat, on a leash. Hahaha the weirdest thing ever, never in my life have I ever seen that! It even had a little sweater thing on, hahaha oooh English people. 

Saturday and Sunday were exciting day for us because we had a lot of good things happen. Our amazing friend C……M….. was interviewed for his baptism and he passed, and came to church so this Saturday we are going to be having a BAPTISM!!! But please pray that everything will work out smoothly. But I am so excited for him!!! Being able to teach C…..M…… has been one of the highlights of my mission. He is not even a member (yet) but you can see the light of Christ in him. I hope to be able to be like him more in my life. Then on Sunday we had a great surprise, our investigator S……… get up and bore her testimony in sacrament meeting and announced her baptism for the 21st of either this month or November, translation is a bit rough still, but she said that she is going to get baptized! ! So we hopefully will be having an interview with her this week, and get her dunked this month! Soooo amazing wow I just love this branch and love being a Chinese elder! Then Sunday ended very cool, because we found an orange Lamborghini in a car park so I went to go take a picture of it, and actually ran into the owner. And as a missionary I was naturally inclined to talk to him. So I asked him all sorts of questions about his car, and then I asked him how he at 31 years old owns 2 Lamborghini's and one Ferrari, and guess what he said, (dad your going to love this) he said, "its simple don't be dumb, save your money buy what you need and save the rest, invest a little and see what happens" pretty good advice I would say. So for all you people not out on missions, if you’re a college student, parent, working, whatever, save your money and you too could own a Lamborghini! Haha well that's all I got for ya this week, stay tuned next week to see how it goes with C…..M…… & S……..!

Elder Hanks ιŸ“ι•·θ€
Sent from my iPad 

Pictures
1.  Cool chapel in Newcastle.
2. My motto
3. District train ride
4. Zone Service






Monday, October 3, 2016

Great Conference week of miracles!

Oct 3 2016



Ni hao! How is everyone doing this amazing week. I hope you all enjoyed your week and more especially enjoyed the 10 wonderful hours of conference. It was so amazing to hear the prophetic counsel of our apostle and prophets. I think those hours were by far the best and fastest hours of the week. Never in my life have I ever felt that the talks were written specifically for me, I felt like it was me and them. I know you all enjoyed it as much as I did, all of the talks were so amazing, and I encourage you all, along with me, to reread the talks and to continue to study the words at the prophets. A perfect way to end a great week. Pure and simple doctrine taught, focused on our mark of Jesus Christ, with missionaries involved, thru the restoration of the prophet Joseph Smith. And family Get started on your MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK!!!

Monday: the best thing that happened on Monday was when we took our investigator S...... to FHE.  All of the members and other investigators were there, our investigator announced to everyone that she will be baptised in October! WHAT!!? Sooo cool so we have planned for the 21st so we are working on an interview for her and praying that everything works out!

Tuesday: Tuesday was fun we had a fun day for me and elder Zheng. The members invited us to lunch with them, and took us to a posh Chinese restaurant. And the best part was that they paid for us! It was sooo awesome and so good let me tell you! Wowza, gotta love Chinese food & great members! Then we had a good day of work and then ended the day with B.... our member who went home last Wednesday. We went and had tea with him, to say goodbye. So Tuesday was full of good Chinese food! Pretty good day, if I do say so myself! Now I want to tell you about the most amazing miracle ever that happened to me and elder Zheng.

C.....M.....: 
C.....M...... is one of our investigators that we have had for  awhile. We found him a while back and he was a really shy, quiet kid. Who was really only interested in learning English. We met with him 2 times before he went back to china for a month. Well he came back this week and we called him to see if he was back and we got an appointment with him. Normally after a month break like this, people don't want to keep learning, and they drop us. So we met with C....M.... and we start talking about China and how it was. Then came the scary part to ask him what he remembered from before. And guess what he remembered everything!!!!! What!?? I know and not only that we asked him if he had prayed while he was gone, and he then told us how he had several times, and every time he did he felt something. Immediately we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited him to be baptized and he accepted for October 15!!!! What a miracle. He is the best person in the world, I just love him to death!  I pray that everything will work out with him too. We have met him 3 times this week and should be having his interview next week! He even came to conference with us sooooo.......Please pray for these two, that everything will work out for S....... and C....M....! If so we could have a baptism 2 weeks in a row! That would be amazing for this branch - we need it!

On Friday I drove us down to Leeds again for another meeting. And we were there all day long, so we had the entire day Friday out of our area. But one cool thing that President Turvey announced was that we are officially going digital. We will now be using our iPads for our daily planners and area book. What sooo crazy!! That will be so exciting! So we are waiting for the approval to see when it's really going to happen!

Then Saturday besides the start of conference we had a good day. We met with C.....M..... again, we also taught another guy named T....., we shared with him the Plan of Salvation (or what we Chinese missionaries say "the textbook of life") for our Chinese students. And we invited him to be baptized and he accepted the goal of the 29th of December. So it's going to take a lot of work with him to make that goal, but I am confident that he will be able to achieve it! Then of course to end it off, was the wonderful blessing

of Conference. It was a really really good week! Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week of the first week of October! Time is just going by way to fast!

Elder Hanks ιŸ“ι•·θ€

Sent from my iPad