Monday, October 28, 2013

21 October, 2013

yo familia whattttupp??? bro. 
ok. i totally wanna jog for justin! but. i might have to walk for justin instead make a rein check on that until next agust.  oh geez wguess who cant spell anymore?  good luck with that!  i totally wanna run a half marathon when i get back. mom erika jenn?? yeah??
this week rocked.  to start, last pday, we played soccer at the church.  Ramon (recent convert from ecuador) came and brought all his friends from ecuador who all here.  it was super epic and they were all crazy good. it didnt help that the sun was being insane like usual, and we all were super thirsty.  
ive started drinking powdered milk. i dont really like milk from the box thats been on the shelf for months too well, so powdered milk has become my new friend.  yes ok you could say i drink like im a 2 year old now. haha.
we had interviews in los vilos which is 3 hours away in bus.  can i say how awful it was? its full of twists and turns and its all in a big huge bus. yeah PUKE. i was doing okay until we reached the outskirts of los vilos, when my companion told me i didnt look too good. rough first travel on big bus to civilization.  i ate a bit of chocolate (wise guy that lupin) too help. 
so yay. fun. also, a bird pooped on me. luckily, it only pooped on my book and missed me. hahahaha.
interivews went well.  President always gives me animo and i felt the spirit really strong.
I have a crazy tanline. like crazier than ever.  i showed my companion the comparison of my egyptian neck burn and she almost went into shock.  time to buy some more
so.  this week we found some goldens.  for starters, our investigators matias and macarena are having problems with the father of matias so its been hard to get ahold of them. which is lame.  but then this only started like the day after we first taught them.  i think we will try and get them baptized and to chruch next month. 
CAROLINA! our investigator came to church yesterday. shes going to be baptized on november 3 and shes excited!  shes cool. her mom passed away about 5 months ago, which was when she met the missionaries.  she has been having dreams about her mom lately, a lot....super cool....spirit world....anyways, shes been having health issues too, and asked the elders for a blessing yesterday.  it was really cool and shes excited!
we were in an area on the outskirts of town. there, we found a guy named Walter. we taught him Lesson 1 and he thought it was beautiful. he accepted baptismal date and the next time we visited him, he told us he had read. we read moroni 10 3-5 with him and he asked lots of clarifying questions.  he then told us he smokes 2 packs a day and said," HERMANAS, , this means i have to stop smoking right?". then a little later,"well i should probably go to church."  cute little guy. you can imagine our jaws dropped. 
  our jaws dropped even more when a guy named jesu showed up at our chapel while we were cleaning it and asked when the meeting times were. he said he had baptized at 15 years and his daughter of 6 years was asking lots of questions about God.  shes a doll. his wife isnt a member. we went over there and he kept hinting to his wife stuff about getting married in the temple.  i about fell on the floor!  she wanted to come to church to learn more.  sooo yeah.  lots of blessings this week!!!????? wow. my mind was blown.
 what else...spanish soap operas we occasionalyl get a glance of are HILARIOUS.
  our apartment is really nice. we have lots of rooms, 4 rooms actually. its orange. it used to be for firefighters. hahaha.  plus our kitchn is quite grand too. i love it. 
dont worry about the water i have a filtered waterbottle or we buy bottled water. 
we have the  advantage of our own washing machine.  its awesome. 
the first week i was here, we sang a capella, but yes, i play in the meetings. the lame thing is, i had to play, "how great thou art" and sacrament hymns almost stucato because the pedal was malfunctioning. hahahaha. 
well yeah! there ya have it. 
love my family!!!  spanish is coming well. my companion helps me lots. 
hermana emily hanks

14 October, 2013

So i woke up this morning thinking, wow. today is 14 of octubre. what in the world. i felt like it was somebodys birthday or holiday, but i dont know anyone who has a birthday and i dont think theres a holiday...unless i am mistaken for colombus day?? anyways, my curiosity made for a brief journal entry this morning. haha. ok. random.
this week was pretty cool.  There was lots of sun again.  The weather here is very bipolar, but differs from colorado in that it is cold in the morning and night-with fog and clouds, and then its like 1000 degrees during the day. Im beginning a little negrita in here!  sweeeet. i have a great missionary tan going on.  i pretty much look super egyptian. 
TOMORROW. we have interviews with president.  we are either going back to civilization in illapel-the main city of our zone, or los vilos, which is on the coast.  im excited!  
This week was pretty flipping awesome!  We had intercambios. I went to illapel-a nice 30 minute desert view ride away.  I was with Hermana Valencia.  She is from Peru and shes super fun.  We had talked to lots of people and found a family.  We set 3 baptismal dates!  The funny thing was, we were only teaching the guy and his sister.  Then their other brother randomly walked in right after we had invited them to be baptized.  We invited him too and he said yes.  SWWEEEEETTTT.  we then went to an antiguo investigador.  she told us she believes in the book of mormon and is just not sure about being baptized.  It was cool because i felt the spirit really strongly during that lesson.  we set a baptismal date with her too so that was cool. 
one thing ive been trying and thinking a lot about is literally being an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  Ive been praying more to have the spirit testify through me the words that the people need to hear.  Really, the spirit is key, especially when you dont speak the native language.  Im working to know what comes to my mind that is the spirit and what isnt.  Its so cool!
the day after that, we had zone conference.  Basically, there are 3 gringos in our zone.  Im the only gringa girl.  Its fun!  Lots of spanish.  THeres two older couples too and theyre cute to watch speak spanish.  I decided that when Im older i totally want to go on a mission with my spouse.  mom and dad take note.  you guys should totally serve one.  anyways, we talked a lot about finding families to teach and not just people, but asking when their family will be home and teaching them all together.  afterwards, i kinda did a facepalm.  duh! why havent we put this logic together before?  anyways, it proves to be sucessful.  We found lots of families last week and new investigadors in the last half of the week. 
including a family.  we were knocking doors and one had a sign indicating that they sell ice cream.  well, it was hot and i wanted ice cream and the boy ran over with his mom from across the street. he asked me what we needed and i said i wanted to buy ice cream. done. go thte ice cream.  i thanked them then asked if we could come in and share our message. they said yeah.  it was cool!  We walked out with two more baptismal dates. 
unfortuantely, my companion and i both forgot the mothers day. shooot. her sons name was matias, but we couldnt remember her name at all. 
solution to our problems. we returned again before our set cita because we were in the area, and she told us that we arrived just in time.   She is having family problems and was upset about that.  We read her a few scriptures and during this, alma 36:3 came to my mind. I opened it up and told her to put her name in the scirpture, substituting it for the name "helaman."  soooo yeah! now we found out her name was macarena.  Problem solved.
I like applying to members the importance of missionary work.  we had people from the mission ir our ward yesterday and they talked a lot about the importance of members. this work really is moving forward! it is awesome.  it was funny to see that tall american at the pulpit (from the older couples).  we had lunch with hermana calderon and the older couples form the mission yesterday.  so fun! 
well thats pretty much what i have for you this week.  love you all.
hermana emily hanks

7 October, 2013

whattttup octubre????? yeah real life already???
it sounds like things are going well with justin. that makes me so happy.  jenn sent me some pictures too.  i think our family is really blessed and im very grateful to my Heavenly Father whose looking out for us.  i dont know if im allowed to say this, but justin reminds me of darth vader at the end of star wars 6 when you see anakin skywalker at the victory celebration boozle in the end of the movie. =)  halloween costume =D
ok so where the heck do i even begin???? another week has flow by. dzang.  it was a flipping awesome week. im tired and fried, but its SWEEET. 
starting with conference!  can i just say how much cooler it is to watch conference as a missionary???? dang i love it.  it was all in spanish because we watched it at our branch building, but i could understand a lot of it. nonetheless, i want to watch them all sometime in english because i love hearing the real voice of the prophet. it was cool because elder scott served a mission in paraguay, and it was his actual voice.  they were definitely all amazing.  i liked that they talked lots about the important of making covenants and if we have made them keep them and recieve the blessings thereof! then it also talked about the dificltades (shoot cant spell) in our lives and the need for the savior.  it was amazing for sure. i also loved how they emphasized that we should all be involved in missionary work! its so true. this work realy is hastening.  i decided when i get back i wanna go out with the sister missionaries all the time! might have to work on teaching in english when i get back first. but seriously. this is so dang important!!!! every member a missionary!!
hahaha. when we sang called to serve at the end, i said to hermana bravo,"i bet our moms are crying right now." lol. 
guess who accidentally partook of the contaiminated water this week? lol. this girl. 
this week was awesome for the work.  the recent convert named jordan is about 12.  we went to his mom vivana, whose been an investigador for about 5 years.  shes been taking the lessons, but lives with her partner. they have 3 kids and theyre all super cute.  anyways, she wants to get married and needs to take out  date (the registro civil was closed where you take out dates because it was on strike. but it opened again!) .  we had a lessona bout baptism with her and challenged her for sooner than february, when she wants to get married. she said she would talk to her partner, but did accept. it turns out that there are some complcations with that date with his family, otherwise, he would say yes to getting married n octuber for them.  we decided that we believe in miracles  (hermana bravo and i) and are gonna work for one!! 
we also taught another pareja (couple) that ist married. the cousin and his girlfriend of the other recent convert ramon.  they are pretty awesome.  alexis, (ramons cousin) likes to listen, and theyre both young and receptive.  we taught themt he restoration the other day. a few days later, alexis came and told us that he had read what we had told him to read, and had read the folletos. both are super awesome.  
we have an awesome district! i think i mentioned that last week. anyways, i freaking love them.  there are elders in our ward too. elder araya is from costa rica. hes crazy and speaks faster than the chilenos. aka he can be hard to understand...the fun thing is, he knows a little...little bit of engilsh and sometimes he will throw out little english frases. i said something back to him and he kinda just did the nod of head with a laugh that im so accostumed to of the, "i have no idea what you just said!!" lol. then his companion is elder condor.  elder condor is awesome too.  i decided hes especially cool because his last name reminds me of "gondor" which you can guess what that makes me think of...yessssss. LOTR. 
i seriously love my companion hermana bravo! she is so cute.  we do lots of practices to help me teach better and shes sweet. ive learned a lot though. she is really good at not judging others and being obedient but having fun too. i love her!
its an oven here. its like doing missionary work int he grandcanyon. whewwww.  we always buy bottled water. pretty sure ill be a negrita when i leave here.  its so dang hot! were in a valley and oh geez. so hot. but very pretty. very pretty indeed! 
I LOVE TEACHING!!!!! its the best. missionary work freaking rocks and im grateful to be here!
love you all. stay sweet denise.
hermana emily hanks

30 September, 2013 (pictures)

1. Soledad!  we love her!

2. our girl milena. love her too!

3. Maria belen drew us a picture =D

4. on the bus....HEADIN NORTH.  with hermana isaacson

5. aight, the following are all pictures of the journey to our new area. you can see my face in this picture taking a picture. i didnt realize this until like 10 minutes ago. lol. 
the following includes a little piece of our chapel, binky a dog, dogs, MOUNTAINS!!, delicious arroz con leche (de ecuador), and somehow a picture of my agenda ended up in there too for yall to enjoy. 

30 September, 2013

Heyyyy hey how be it??
AIGHT. soooo this week....TRANSFERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
yup. i finally left Recreo.  6 months on the coast flew by quick.  I kinda figured I would be leaving after this transfer, but you never know.  I will miss Recreo lots, but at the same time, I am always ready for something new!
Tuesday, we said our goodbyes to everybody.  
I said goodbye to the Rojas family and pretty much just bore my testimony.  I told them that even if we both get transferred or whatever to continue letting the missionaries in because its the gospel thats important. this is eternal life yall.  
We had a packed day on tuesday.  We also said goodbye to Milena (our baby), and soledad, a menos activo. I dont remember if i told you all about soledad before, but she was a less active.  Her house was really hard to find, but when we finally found it, she didnt want us to come in really.  Eventualyl she warmed up and asked us continaully to come back.  Shes a cutie and we will miss her.  I sent a pciture of us with her too!  She has a daughter named Amy, the same as hermana schrader. =)
So overall, i felt like it was a good way to leave things, and I will continue to pray for those in Recreo. 
aight transfers time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! prepare yourself.  im still in shock.  So we recieved the phonecall at like 9:30.  Our zone leader said, "hermana schrader se queda (you stay).  Hermana hanks.....(long silence) se va! (you go)".  and from that moment, i began packing all i could to cram into my suitcases and cleaning the pension and everything. so dang weird i tell you. 6 months near the mission home and coast surrounded by thousands of people.  
anyways, we went to say goodbye to hermana sonia =(. ill miss her dearly, but we made a deal that before i return home, ill come back and play a round of uno and drink some juice before returning.  then we said bye to francisco and there wasnt much time for anything otther than that.      i was stressed out before because my card wasnt working and wouldnt let me take out money. i was afraid of getting transferred north and not having money to do so.  finally, i just gave up because it wouldnt work and we went to vina anyways.  as we were walking up to the stake center, we saw some other hermanas and one of the assistants told me to put my stuff in a certain room.  the other hermana said," oooo somebodys going north!"  so. 
   transfers were fun because i got to see hermana zimmerman and hermana call briefly, from th mtc.  also, we got to see our old district leader elder faught!  but sad at the same time because hermana schraders not gonna be my comp =(  we both decided  we had learned a ton together and shes definitely one of my best friends!  
   president called my name and said id be going to salamanca.  i looked around after.   my companion wasnt there because i was going to meet her there.  i started walking out and one of my hermana friends said,"thats where all the witches are!" lol. so i guess i was entering witch country. hahaha.  i got that from a few other missionaries as well. 
   but yeah!  we got on the bus which turned out to be a bus for the mission so we didnt have to pay. that was a blessing.  and seriously, getting on that bus was so fun but so dang weird.  i have only been to viña really and all.  
   we spent the night in our zone with the other hermanas because buses dont go to salamanca at night. and for good reason.  the road out there is super curvy, and theres really only mountains for a while.  we are about 1.5 hours from the coast or so]?  either way.  its gorgeous and here and super calm.  i already love salamanca!
   we cant drink the water here because its contaminated.  aka, we have to buy bottled water now. yummy.  
    Along with the new area, i have a new companion too.  Her name is hermana bravo, from colombia.  she doesnt speak any english, so its all spanish.  which is good because even in the last few days from transfers, ive felt my spanish improve immensely.  we contacted a guy yesterday who told me i have "bastante castallano". aka i speak a lot of spanish well. something like that. so that made me feel really cool...haha. 
   there are two recent converts here.  one is named ramon and he is from ecuador.  He got baptized about 2 months ago and we are trying to help him get the temple. HE IS SUPER COOL!  he totally has a testimony.  he told me the story of how he came to know the missionaries and its awesome.  he had a lot of problems with drinking and stuff like that before, then the missionaries came on a day when it was really bad and taught him the plan of salvation.  he had started to cry (hermana bravo was one of the missionaries) and was baptized within 3 weeks. flipping awesome right??
   the other is a 12 year old named jordan. he is so cute!  we are working also to get his mom baptized, and his dad.  they arent married, but like the church and are getting married soon we hope.
   we knocked a door the other day and the guy let us teach him out front of his house.  left with a baptismal date!  yay. 
   our ward mission leader is a stud. his name is mario, and he is a convert.  the first time i met him, he expressed his love for missionary work and how badly he wishes he could be a missionary.  hes probably around 40 and its cool because he really loves the gospel.  plus, he wore a freaking awesome wolf and indian shirt.  probably a sign for me to trust him. lol. 
  we have a branch here in salamanca.  the branch building is tiny, with a sacrament hall and probably 6 classrooms or less.  We have half of salamanca and the elders have the other half, so its fun because we have two latino elders in our ward too to conquer salamanca with the word of God!  woot. 
   our branch president is awesome, and his wife too. Hermana calderon!  oh how i already love her.  a lot of people were really sad to  see the hermana before me go, and hermana calderon too, but she made me feel really welcome.  my first day she came right up to me and gave me a big hug.  not only that, but she has a rockstar testimony.  she has lots of pain in her body, which i dont know too much about still.  Hermana bravo tells me she feeds the hermanas a lot because only a few  people sign up and our branch is tiny.  she tells us," if you dont have almuerzo, call me!  please!  ill fix you something up, even if its simple!"  shes a saint.  i love her!  definitley a chilean mommy.  she also sends you her love. 
   two gringos came to church yesterday (yeah-weird...kronk =)).  they had served missions here like 15 years ago or something and were from utah.  haha.  weird.  it was funny because they were so much taller than all these cute little chileans and one lady we talked to yesterday was talking about how big their arms were and their feet with their big man boots. lol so funny!  
   that brings us to another matter.  without hermana schrader, im probably one of the tallest people in salamanca!  so weird.  its like princess leia and the ewoks.  lol.  so cute.  i can pretty much see over the top of everybodys head in our ward, including all of the elders in our district.  they all level at a heigh probably about 4 inches shorter.  well this is the first.  i definitely stand out here. haha. 
   soooo to conclude, ill express my feelings fromt his week.  i mentioned last week about how hermana schrader and i finally learned to really love missionary work, and it carries to this day.  not everyday is easy for me, but i finally feel like i love being a missionary and want to go talk to every person in sight and see lives change.  I think im starting to see why people say its the best thing ever because in all honesty, it really is!  the best part is, I HAVE A YEAR LEFT!!!!!! sweeeet. im stoked to do the Lords work.  I know it wont be easy, but I know the Savior is alongside of me every step of the way as long as we repent and stay humble.  
THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!! yeah love the gospel and being a missionary!!!!!!!!! 
con amor, 
hermana emily hanks!

September 23, 2013 (pictures)

1. this cat her had a green and blue eye.  presh.

2. ward activity. what we ate. yum.

3.  trio made in heaven. my sistahs hermana hermansen and hermana schrader. love them!

4. vicente rojas.  children in our fam of investigadores.

5. sweet view from the chapel.

6. our neighbor chapel, esperanza, overlooks recreo. 

7. some stuff you probably just dont see in the usa

8. satanas strikes again. 

9. familia rodriguez. our bishop and his wife!  love them.

10. so. we were making 'clases de ingles' signs. guess im losing my grammar and my spelling because i forgot the 'g'. boo fail.

11. love hermana schrader! happy pday. waiting for the bus.

12. 18 de septiembre. feliz dia de independencia chile!

13. almorzamos con martita.

14. so our friend yin. such a cute dog. we saw her once, then two days later, we saw her looking huge!  guess the dogs party hard for 18 de septiembre too. she looked like she gained at least a solid 10 lbs.

15. hehehehehe. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

September 16, 2013

Holy flipping lots of rain Colorado!
dang.  I can’t deny that im slightly jealous. I’d be taking my tube out on the river for sure. haha.  from all that rain in Colorado, you could say that its being baptized by water and by fire!  I mean there were lots of fires last summer.  lol just kidding just kidding. *mission humor.  
 Well, while you are all enjoying that crazy rain, here in Chile we have a little thing called WIND.  Everyone tells us it’s only the month of September, so that is a relief.  Nonetheless, we have noticed that a few parts of our hair have bangs which we don’t remember cutting. lol.
 soooo this week was pretty cool.  Chile tied with españa in futbol, the world champs, so that makes everyone happy.  then I accidentally stepped on a cat and it went crazy. it was only a matter of time for that one!  at first, the cat and I kind of held grudges. then after 15 minutes, it jumped up next to me.  all was forgiven and we became fast friends.  maybe some cats aren’t so bad.
Cambios are in a week!  it flew by again.  sooo kinda sad. this is my fourth transfer here. love recreo!  we don’t really know what’s gonna happen till the day of...
 OH MY GOSH!!!!! ok. best. day. ever. so, we had a trio last Wednesday with Hermana Perez.  she’s from el Salvador and super awesome.  We found a menos activo named Carolina.  She let us in and we saw that she had a ton of wolf pictures in her house with like pretty mountain paintings and everything.  Plus, her house was in this cool jungle place (totally reminds of us star wars with ewoks).  I decided I’d live in that house if I lived in Chile.  I told Carolina wolves are seriously bomb and she agreed.  so yeah. calling to that house??? I think yes. hahaha.
 Rojas family!!!! ok. so this is seriously the rollercoaster of recreo.  Carolina and Martina and Francisca came to church yesterday.  Carolina has work now thru a member of the ward.  A lot of the members are really nice and welcoming to them, so that is awesome!  We went to their house this week and the atmosphere seemed much more calm.  They had found some work at last too.  We taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy, and Francisco said, usually they just fight and go to McDonalds, but he said, from now on, they’re going to eat healthy food and go to church. lol. sometimes he talks so fast it’s hard to keep up. but moral of the story, they said they’d keep the Sabbath day holy. sweeeeeet!
 Church. Well, we had cute little Nancy come again this week!  Hermana Doris said she had called Nancy on Saturday after we had visited her, and Nancy said," im great!" when Doris asked why, she said, “because the missionaries came!" she’s a cutie.  
  Rojas family.  so I said they came to church, or at least Carolina and the girls did.  they said they were coming in the morning. sacrament meeting, nothing.  After the meeting ended, Hermana Schrader suggested we go outside. right as we turned the corner, BAM, there’s Carolina don’t the girls! and they came at last!! happy. yay.
 Blanca!  Blanca is so cute.  The little old lady with Alzheimer’s.  We ate some alfajores with her and Hermana Irma (her daughter), and Blanca said, "les quiero mucho!"  we love that Blanca.  always she says to us very seriously,"Cuando quieren, vengan por aca!"  aka, when you want, come here!
  Snakes for the week. Well there’s this crazy in Recreo.  He had asked us if we wanted to go to viña a few months ago...and yeah. we told him were missionaries and were not interested and all and that was the last we heard of him.  Last week, we hear a," hey!"  and turn around to see him driving his huge dark gray creeper van, offering us a ride. heh heh heh ehhhh no thanks.  Hahaha.  gotta love those crazies. 
  I got letters from some primary kids this week! it made me so happy!  thank you sister Ortiz it meant a lot!
  We gave Javier-son of a viejita in our ward, a book of Mormon.  we wrote our testimonies in it and he really appreciated it.  Javier is a cool dude. he’s extremely smart.  he asks a ton of questions, and after we had answered a few of them, he stayed silent.  then said, "they taught you well in that mtc." 
  We saw Maria Luisa last night.  She’s a cute little old lady who is sick and can’t come.  She’s pretty amazing because she’s the only one in her family who is still faithful in the church.  it was like being with a long lost grandma because we looked at some of her pictures and read her a scripture.  
  So....Jesus the Christ.  IS AWESOME.  you could say it’s like harry potter as missionaries.  we each have our own copy and whenever we have a little time to spare, we read.  James E. Talmage is pretty much beast at writing too. 
  hahaha. Hermana Schrader is reading in 2 nefi this week.  chapter 24, 12-15. we got a bit of a laugh because Satan thinks he’s really cool and will be better than all, but really? oh wait. read verse 15.  idiot.
  We talked to a half drunk guy. his name was Oliver.  
  the zone leaders called this week and I answered. they said I sounded Latina!  that was excitement. 
  Well there ya have it.  I hope all goes well with Justin.  you’re all in my prayers.  and congrats about the new stake presidency!  crazy!
this week is Chilean independence day!  18. lots of empanadas and craziness. 
hey mom if you are sending a package anytime should totally send some good ol welches fruit snacks. haha.
well love you guys!

Hermana Emily Hanks

September 9, 2013

Bueennnnnaaaasss tardes.
   and happy lunes.  life down here is going well.  Por fin we have had warm weather this week, including in the night.  We’ve gotten some sun this week that’s for sure.  September is a crazy month.  basically it’s really windy sometimes, but at least it’s sunny!  vina winters. not too bad.  
  I’ve decided Septembers in viña?  I’m a big fan.  18 de septiembre is the independence day here.  people here go nuts with the national flags, a ton of empanadas, and a ton of pebre (pico de gallo!)  I’m psyched.  I might be entering into October with a few extra pounds to spare, but you only live in Chile once right?  errrr I mean, you only experience September in Chile once!  haha. 
  We had zone conference this week. It was awesome!  it was pretty much exactly what I needed to hear.  Patience in the mission is key.  Diligence and patience and obediencia.  (alma 32).  I liked zone conference because part of it talked about how we all have individual talents which we can develop and use as missionaries.  I also liked it because we talked about how we should try to find more families.  we want to live with our families forever in the presence of God.  It was super good. 
  We waited in a collectivo for 45 minutes before going. that was super stressful for sure!
  We taught Milena and the Rojas family the word of wisdom this week.  aight it went a lot better than I thought it would go!  I was psyched.  The rojas family said that they really only smoked when they got stressed, and don’t drink.  they said they would do everything possible to live the word of wisdom!  yay fam rojas!
  milena was cool too.  I felt I could be bold as we were teaching it and I think it helped.  Milena understood too and told us that when she was younger, she smoked and did things against the word of wisdom.  after her dad died, she said she wasn’t going to do those kinds of things anymore.  I thought that was pretty amazing.  I love that girl!
  Oooo. futbol game this week.  Chile beat venezuela 3-0.  atta boys.
  So....pretty much everybody here thinks gringas are just the most gorgeous thing on the planet.  for example:  we were walking through the plaza esperanza and one guy says, "miren a el!  El es un pecador!  Quiere salvarse!" lol. translation.  Look at him!  he’s a sinner!  he wants to be saved!   then the same guy walked past chuckling to himself," salve!" with some kissing noises.  lol.  these chileans!  Hermana Schrader and I were talking about what would happen if we brought our families or dads to vina and see if there would be the same 
  We are sad that Milos gone.  We don’t have a new ward mission leader yet, so we are awaiting to hear that.  he comes back in a month.  
  I finished the libro de Mormon (in Spanish) en alta voz. ah disculpe.  out loud.  I’m starting in the book of Mormon again and the new testament.  
  Rojas fam.  On Saturday, we saw them walking...yes walking the 3 miles to the stake center in vina for an activity there!  they didn’t have money for a bus ticket.  them with four kids.  we were so psyched!  all the kids ran up to us to greet us.  ahhh love that family!  then as they were walking away, Francisco says, "two more domingos until we can get baptized right?"  well...yes.  unfortunately, they didn’t make it to church yesterday because daylight savings spring forward confuses folks.  Hermana Schrader and I had no idea until like 5 the night before. haha. 
  We decided to reinstall English classes in recreo again.  we had 4 students.  javier-an investigador who is the son of an elderly lady in our ward.  then Hermana monica from primary, and Hermana sonia.  oh, and marcello.  Marcello already knows English really well so I don’t really know why he’s in the basics class, but all are welcome to come!  soo yeah!
  we had another crazy come to church.  we had invited him the day before and he showed up.  he pretty much fought with the gospel principles teacher the whole time. so that was interesting. 
  We have an awesome bishop here.  He helps us a lot and really wants to help the missionary work here in recreo.  Him and a counselor went to visit the rojas family yesterday.  We did service with maybol his wife, at their house a few days ago. super fun!  plus...gotta love wearing jeans and a wolfshirt.  Plus diego was there so we got the low down on ninja turtles and everything else awesome!  
  Saturday and sunday night drunks.  so much fun to contact sometimes?? I think yes!  they can barely stand straight.  Stories of this week.  well. Saturday morning, we see our friend with the poodle heading up the road 20 yards away as we are leaving our apartment carrying two bottles in his hands. that can’t be good...then. next day. at the exact same time, we see the exact same guy doing the exact same thing!  lol. love those drunks.  but really. they tell you they want to change their lives and give the honest truth.  sometimes they’re the ones who need the most help. 
  We met a nice little treasure named Mario last night.  we see  guy standing at his door holding a bat.  we’ve seen him before and the first time it freaked me out.  but this time, we just said, "hola!" really friendly.  then he talked to us for a minute.  my comp put out her hand to shake it and he wouldn’t let go of it for a minute.  then she kinda yanked it away and we got out of there.  
  It was Hermana sonias birthday this week.  she looked super cute!  we bought her the game uno because she loves that game.  
   I’m excited for this next week.  I’m grateful for the emails and prayers I’ve received and more than all, I’m grateful for the Savior and His atonement. 
   I love my companion!  She is awesome.  She’s like my sister.  
  love you all
Hermana Emily Hanks

1.  So sad milos gone!  back to colombia.  till october.

2. chilean dogs.  

3. lol.  chilean cats.

4. proof that brad wilcox did in fact serve his mission in vina del mar!  we were at a members house who was friends with him when he was in chile.

5. crazy neighbor theif. guess he likes our backyard more.  

6. happy pday today.  and this is our o meno

7. map of recreo

8. found the longboards at lider!!!!!!! happiness. 

9. alfajor. delicious.

September 2, 2013

WOOOOOOo dang. 6 months flies by when you’re having fun being a missionary.  Even if it’s hard and seems long some days, I can’t believe I’ll be home in less than a year. That is nutty.  And happy September! 
lol. So mom asked if Hermana Schrader and I are planning on having a lotr marathon or harry potter marathon when we get back.  My answer to that?  Most definitely!  That times 100.  Add spiderman, batman, superman, star trek, and everything awesome about Colorado summertime. Oh and a goofy movie with the playing of some Barbie’s too.  This vision helps us get thru those hard moments! haha. Joke. And she goes to byu.
So.....most happy thing on my mind right now...or at least one of them. 
GUESS WHO CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  familia rojas.  POR FIN!  it was so epic.  I’ll just give you the run down.  On Saturday, we received a call from Francisco, the dad.  he asked what time the ward fhe activity was and what time church was the next day.  this was new because usually we remind them.  then, the next morning, we called Monica, whose husband could take the family to church, and she said he is at the church and to go confirm plans with him.  time was ticking because he had to pick someone else up too and we might miss him.  we sprinted to the main road and saw someone honk their horn at us. luckily it was Juan guillarmo-monicas husband.  he said he would go get them.  then we got a call from Francisco, saying they were waiting for us!  
  Hermana Schrader and I were waiting out from of the church to greet people, when all of the sudden, we see Vicente, come in at a full run towards us.  oh love that little kid!  (he’s one of the little rojas boys).  then we see Martina and Francesca, the two little girls, and finally, Francisco.  Carolina was home with Lincoln, the other little boy, but hopefully next week.  So that was probably the highlight of my day yesterday.  Plus, we saw Nancy-the menos activo who came last week, come again, along with another named eliana!  so many people there yesterday it was awesome!
  It was cool too because it was fast Sunday and people bore really good testimonies.  People were so excited and kind to see a new family at church too.  
  We had one crazy guy at church whom nobody had ever seen.  he bore his testimony and said he had been baptized 12 years ago.  He came to principios del evangelio with us after sacrament mtg, with milo as the teacher.  milo taught a freaking awesome restoration lesson and the crazy guy kinda started interrupting-with his doubts, like questioning how we knew this was true and all.  so that was fun.  milo just firmly said, if you really have these doubts, you need to ask God and receive an answer for yourself.  he handled it really well. 
  So.  I love Chile!  people here are hilarious, even if I don’t understand every word.  one guy in our ward is a really goofy guy named hermano Gonzalez.  for example, the other day he was like, Hermana hanks I didn’t recognize you because you cleaned your hair!  lol. Chileans are super blunt.  (no worries, I promise I wash my hair!)  Chileans also talk a ton and change subjects every five seconds from one topic to the next, but at least that helps us learn the language right?
  We contacted a mailman named Rodrigo.  I’ve kinda been trying to ask more questions, even if they’re simple, like, " hey wanna be happy forever?" that kinda thing.  we did that to Rodrigo, and we ended up talking for like 2 hours about the book of Mormon and the whole time he was like, " wow never knew that!  whoa never knew that either!"  he gladly took a book of Mormon.  he was then looking in the index in the back and saw Lucifer.  then asked us, “oh is there a book of Lucifer?"  lol. book of Lucifer.  
 Hermana Alejandra, a member in our ward, does our laundry now.  She is so sweet and went to all the effort to make us comfortable laundry bags.  she says, " when you go back home, you can remember Hermana Alejandra!"  well I think yes!  If there is an example of a Christ like person, it’s her.  She loves the Savior so much.  She is in very humble circumstances, but I’ve never once heard her complain.  She shared us her testimony this week and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.  What a great example she is to me.  so dedicated to the gospel and the Savior.  she always offers to fix our clothes if they rip or have holes, and she found one in my comps skirt, so kept it and said she would give it back on Sunday.  yesterday, my companion and I were talking to somebody and out of the corner of my eye; I see Alejandra put the skirt in my companions backpack, unnoticed.  She’s amazing, she is. 
  I found Chloe (doggy) hairs in my scriptures this week. lol.  I knew it was Chloe because it was my English scriptures and those never leave the pension.  it brought me joy as you can imagine. hahahaha.
  Milo goes to Colombia this week.  we are sad!  he was an awesome ward mission leader. but I’m happy that he gets to go see his family at least.   nonetheless...buen amigo that milo. 
  I studied a lot about the priesthood this week because I really don’t know that much.  It’s super interesting to me, and there’s so much to study about it!  I want to study it because hopefully it can help Francisco and the rojas family sees that they can have the blessings of the priesthood in their home too.  
  With that said, ummm can I just say how awesome is joseph smith???? can you say probably one of the coolest guys ever???  I was reading the obituary in doctrine and convenios-i think written by john Taylor.  my mind was blown.  This guy we are talking has done more, than any other man, save the Savior. there have been so pretty amazing people who have lived on the earth.  So much sacrifice there and learning for him.  
  I found a cat in my room this morning.  I sent a picture.  super
  OH.  our bishop’s son Diego is seriously the coolest little kid ever.  he is like kinda sassy and loves ninja turtles and star wars. obviously we all get along.  my comp has a ninja turtles shirt that she wore once to an activity, and Diego came up to her once in a low quiet voice and said," I know you have a ninja turtles shirt."  and the trust all started there.
  Last night, we took a small shortcut and I got to practice some old Colorado trailblazing. it was kiiiinnnnddddaaaa awesome.  Chile has lots of hills in certain parts and it’s pretty exciting. 
  I feel like haven’t said much about the culture here, so I’ll try and give a little bit.  the food here is not spicy at all.  I prefer spicy, but at least it’s edible.  not too bad.  sometimes I would do anything to eat some homemade Chile or buffalo chicken though. lol. 
  people here don’t really use too many cars.  we mostly use collectivos or buses and depending on the driver, we really feel like we are in harry potter because it’s like the night bus on a highway next to the coast!  so epic.
  we get lots of weird looks for being gringas saying hola to everybody.  a lot of people kinda point or whisper sometimes, and when that happens, we will pretend one of us is telling a really funny and joke and just start laughing like we are having a good time. lol. we’ve gotten really good at it...hahahahaha. 
  we played telephone at the ward activity. aight I’m not bad at that game in English, but Spanish?  I was the downfall of the team for that matter. hahahahaha. 
  there are empanada shops on every corner and completos and chorillana.  completos are bread, palta, tomato, hot sauce (for Chile), and a hot dog. chorillana is French fries, eggs, chorizo, meat...delish. delish. 
  we use gas here to heat everything.  so of course, there are little gas trucks that run around playing different songs. last week we heard some Christmas music so that really got us in the season!  oh wait, not for 3 more months. so deceiving those gas trucks. 
  okay well that’s it for this week! 
love you chao chao.  
  -Hermana Emily hanks

1.hermanas de recreo

2. aight diego is the coolest kid ever.  he is the bishops 6 year old son and he wants to be a missionary too. what really brings us all together is our love for star wars and other cool stuff like that

3. took a detour.  got a sweet view.

4. valparaiso.  VIEW NEVER GETS OLD!

5. yo. y valpo.

6. sometimes when you are a  missionary in find cats in your room. under your bed...just for fun.  yeah the little bugger.