Saturday, March 23, 2013

Week 2

HOLAAAAA. Happy pi day! (can't find the symbol on this keyboard :(. ) Also, happy birthday grandpa clair! somebody told me the date and I remembered!! I'll never forget that man. This week FLEW by. It's crazy i've been here two weeks, and yet it feels like 6 years, but at the same time, it's gone so fast.

 The spanish is coming along. We keep trying to have days where we all don't speak any english and just do spanglish, but....most of the time we either forget or go till about 10 o'clock, and then forget. still though, this week, i actually felt like I am starting to understand it better. On sunday, we had a devotional speaker, and I can't quite remember who his name is. Maybe I should just bring my journal when I write emails because it's all written in there. We also watched legacy-the pioneer movie. always a good one. on sunday, in our branch meeting, we all have to prepare 3-5 minute talks to give. Then, the presidency picks two speakers. I prepared mine, but i figured it probably wouldn't be me because there was a district leaving that week, so i thought it'd be one of them. wrong-o. right before bro davis-our second counselor announced who the speakers were, i knew it was going to be me. hahahaha. i did it all in spanish which was good! it was about forgiveness and repentence. I have the words i want to speak in english, but translating them to spanish is definitely a challenge.

monday, we got another teacher named hermano avila. he's a freaking stud. he's been off his mission for literally 6 weeks. the first day we had him, i was a little frustrated because it was so intense and i felt a little discouraged because I have such a long ways to go, and there's so much material coming at us. After that class though, i figured i have two options: I can either be frustrated and miserable with myself, or i can work hard and do my best to understand how i can make myself a better missionary out of it, which will include lots of hardwork. I prayed for that patience and being able to apply what he teaches us, and the next day, i really enjoyed his class. I felt the spirit, and decided I want to be the best missionary i can make myself. another lesson he gave this week was about feasting upon the words of Christ.

 we all got super stoked to read scriptures and pmg as you can probably guess. the scriptures really are worth more than gold. it's amazing how you can be reading one thing, then if you have a question, you go to a footnote, taking you to another scripture, and it goes on and on! I still have so much to learn, especially with the language, but i still feel like i'm steadily progressing. we've learned a lot about the doctrine of Christ: faith, repentence, baptism, etc. it's amazing because I keep learning that keeping it simple while teaching is key. These are simple truths that we teach investigators, and if they're ready to hear the gospel, God will prepare them.

 I've studied lots about the Atonement this week as well. It's starting to hit me how real this really is. It's essential! I sometimes find myself saying the words to the song in my head," I stand all amazed." I don't know how to put it into simpler words than that. We were at the temple again today because it's pday and last week, we saw a cute old man there with us. That same man was there today, and I just thought, "God bless him." He's here up and early at the temple, serving his God. I just thought it was kind of cool.

 I can't believe I'll be in Chile in less than a month. I'm just so amazed I'm here. Some of the speakers have reminded us that we are really on the Lord's errand and we're going forth to proclaim the gospel.

 I can't believe this is me either..haha. anyways... i love you all!

 ps write me letters! i love getting mail.

-Hermana hanks

Provo Temple

Mount Timp

"i drew a picture of a spaceship going to chile during a break..hehe."

Me and Soster Briscoe

"while we were waiting at devo, i drew colorado. hahahaha. everyone here thinks im super artsy...but im not really..hahahaha"

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Week 1

Herrrrooo....hahaha just kidding. hola familia!

 How are things hanging da Fort?  I did get your dear elders, thanks for sending them!  it's fun to get mail.  Crazy week, but I love it.  I almost peed my pants when I saw Erika at the airport with Justin and Woody too.  Sneaky...:) Soster Briscoe and I had a good flight to SLC.  We sat on opposite ends of the plane and both wanted to attempt to hand out Book of Mormons.  I sat next to one guy who was nice and asked him if he knew anything about it.  He said he has many member friends and does business in SLC (hence why he was on the same flight.)  I asked him what he knew, and he was really nice.   I already feel like I've learned soooo much this week.  It's seriously crazy.  At school, if I sit in a classroom for 12 hours a day, I'd probably pull out my hair, but here, it's different.  You really feel the spirit in those classrooms, not only with our teachers, but in personal study time and teaching lessons.  It's neat too because everybody here is here for the same purpose-to invite people to come unto Christ and be missionaries.  The spirit is strong, and I feel bad for any moment wasted not studying. (check out

    The beds here took some getting used to. haha.  Some of the girls talk before bed, but my head hits the pillow, and I'm out.  We have exercise time every day.  Our district loves volleyball and four square.  I got a bruise for accidentally diving for a ball.  ooops.  (we're not suppose to get competitive).  The food here....ehhhh.  I stick to the wraps, salad, fruit, cereal.  and the ice cream of course on wednesdays and sundays.  delish. 

    I've seen Soster Briscoe a few times, and it's always a pleasure.  I even saw Elder Farner (Mickayeen) from Terry lake ward I think. I've seen Elder Cook so many times too.  His district usually plays volleyball with ours, and he's in the spanish building to I see him quite a bit.  I've seen Hermana Stoddard (my cousin) lots too, and that's always way fun too.  She left for Virginia this morning, so guess our next reunion will have wait 18 more months.  I'll send pictures later.  She's quite a missionary and knows her spanish pretty well.  I don't know anyone reporting until Sister O'neill who I think is at the end of March. 

    I really like my companion!  Her name is Hermana Call.  She's from Colorado Springs, so you know she's already legit.  I told her I was just in Colorado Springs like less than a week ago for skydiving and she thought that was pretty cool. :)  We have six Hermanas here and only four elders...that probably has to be the first.  The elders are all pretty mature and usually know when to get to work, so that's good.  They said we were officially the "intermediate" spanish class which is funny because I do know a little, but probably not enough to be considered intermediate.  either way though, there are some decent spanish speakers in my class which is very helpful!

    It took a day or two to adjust, but I really like it here now!  We have heard some excellent talks!  I'm trying to remember...we had some orientation, but the first few days were kind of a blur because there was so much information coming at us.  On Sunday, we had our first branch meeting.  It was fast sunday, so we had testimony meeting.  We went over how to bear our testimonies in our language study, so me and hermana zimmerman and call (another hermana in our district) decided to go bear our testimonies.  Some of the elders leaving bore their testimonies too, so that was really cool too.  It's crazy that that will be our district in a few weeks!  I felt like I knew what I was saying for the most part.  We had a great devotional on Sunday night too, then watched an Elder Bednar talk.  Elder Bednar is the man.  He basically straightforward told us it's time to leave behind our personal affairs, and put others before us whole heartedly.  He really inspired me. 

    I've been trying to set goals day by day, some with my companion too.  I actually have a strong interest in achieving these goals this time too.  I know I have so much to learn, but I already am realizing how truly important it is to feel the spirit and keep it side by side with us.  That is the lesson they teach over and over here-having the Spirit with you so that it can testify to the investigators through you.  

    I pray for those people in Chile each night.  Everyday, I think i grow to love them a little bit more, even if I haven't met them.  Someone told us that we're not learning the language for ourselves, but rather, we're learning for those who we will teach and connect to.  We're learning it to bring others unto the Savior.  I can't begin to explain my excitement to go to Chile.  I hear they talk VERY fast over there, but what's life without a good challenge?

    The second day here, we had to give our first lesson in Spanish to a teacher acting as an investigator.  We never knew the teacher beforehand so you can imagine it felt pretty real.  Cool stuff.  When we got in that room to teach him though, you can imagine what a humbling experience that was.  I wanted to say stuff, and some of it I could get out, but I felt my mouth open and just stay open with nothing come out.  Haha.  It'll get there.  It was only the first time, and I feel like we're already getting better. 

I can't wait for the field.  I feel my testimony grows stronger each day and I realize how I want to serve with all my heart, might, mind and strength and give everything I have to the next 18 months.  We memorized the passage when Joseph saw a pillar of light, and I love it because learning it in different languages-God loves all of His children and wants this message brought to all of them.

My P-day is today.  (thursday).  We went to the temple bright and early this morning.  The provo temple is gorgeous, and you'd never believe it, but I felt more awake at the early session. 
I love you all!!  Thanks for the letters!!  oh and tell matt to email me...punk.
Hermana Hanks.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

And She's Off!

On Wednesday morning Justin, Woody and I (Erika) picked up Emily at the SLC airport. 

She wasn't expecting Woody and me to be there, so that was a fun surprise. 

We took her to lunch at the Brick Oven in Provo (she got a free meal!), took a few pictures and then dropped her off! 

We could tell how excited and ready she was to go. I didn't feel even a single bit sad when we dropped her off. It was a very happy moment. 

Can't wait to get her first letter and see how things are going so far!