Sunday, June 2, 2013

May 27, 2013

alo folksies! love the wedding pictures.  so cute!  erika{s hair looks super long! yall look super handsome and beautiful.  also, matt looks so big next to justy!  you both look handsome in those pants.  (im not even mad...thats amazing!)  love jenns dress too.  I was thinking about you on friday! so crazy.  the pictures are great!  
soooo this week in chile was pretty crazy.  right now, its dumping outside rain.  we woke up to rain!  it was kinda fun.  here, when its raining, people make sopapillas. delish.  we ran to the ciber and my backpack is drenched.  when it rains here, it can go crazy. i got a new companion!  hermana ortega got transfered near valparaiso (more south of me).  she was a good missionary and we were sad to see her go so soon.  One of our last lessons taught was really interesting.  After an almuerzo, my comp randomly asked if I wanted to go see two menos activos in the ward.  We had seen them less than a week ago, so I didn't really know why, but figured, eh why not.  We contacted one guy on the way there and he said his daughter was at home, so we came and taught him the first lesson. or at least tried to.  He said he was a historian, and I was a little confused.  Part of the time it looked as if he was laughing at us and didn't really pay attention.  It's interesting.  I think some people here think we are here to argue, but we're not.  We are here to invite them to come unto Christ.  Sometimes we need to be very clear about that.  I still don't know why we went over there, but it was an interesting experience.  Still not sure what to think about that. kinda weird.
My new comp is named Hermana Schrader.  If you looked up awesome in the dictionary, her name would probably be listed underneath that (quoted from the amanda show back in the day)  We found out within like the first minute of meeting each other that we're both from colorado.  shes from loveland!  crazy right?  We know some of the same people even.  Its funny seeing people try and pronounce her name around here because its super German and sometimes it just turns out as a mouthful. hahaha. so cute.  We get along super well.  She's actually 22.  (She loves Harry Potter and  LOTR as well, although mostly Harry Potter.  It pleases me.)  I also saw she has gryffindor socks. so cool. 
SO.  She has only been out one transfer more than I have.  She definitely understands a bit better, but we are definitely learning together.  It's super fun!  It's kinda nice too because I know the area better, but she knows the language better so it meshes well.  I'm super psyched.  
We had troubles with our gas because we have to light it in order to get hot water. yeah.  took the coldest shower of my life. haha. it started out super hot, its rather bipolar at times, and then went cold within a minute. by then, youre kind of in a trap and have to finish your shower. freeeezing. 
We taught Cristina and Valentina this week twice.  Valentina is so awesome!  She has read all we tell her, and is starting at the beginning.  She even has matched up the pictures at the fronte of the libro de Mormon and was telling us all about it.  I seriously wish i was that cool when I was 11!  It was a little nerve racking at first because I felt super nervous about the language and had no idea what to expect for my new companion.  We went up the day after Hermana Schrader got here to teach again and I think it still went well.  Cristina asks a lot of questions which is good, and a lot of them are for clarification.  It helps at the same time, being beginners togteher because when we are teaching, we dont really have much of a choice.  like theres no companion that takes over the whole lesson, we both contribute.  If that makes sense??  
I liked the first transfer because i could kinda see how its done and start out small.  
We have a ward list of people, and we have a ton of menos activos to go see.  There are a ton of menos activos, and we pretty much see if they moved and such.  lots of work to do with them.  I love keeping busy!  Seriously, theres so little time I feel.  I love speaking spanish (or at least trying too...haha).  We do lots of walking and we are usually pretty tired by the time we come back to our pension (well...duh.)
Lots of our citas fell thru again this week which really is a disappointment.  My companion and I both really want to get people to progress.  Sometimes its a little tricky to get people to church here.  
It's still dumping like crazy.  My companion is an animal lover.  Weve given some nicknames to dogs we see in certain parts of town.  Its always a good laugh.  I don't touch the animals still...
I'm really excited for this week!  Seriously.  Not only is personal study awesome, but my companion gets into book of mormon stories as much as i do so it makes for epic discussions sometimes.  I am reading about Amalackiah right now.  He is a giant piece of scum, but clever nonetheless.  and then captain moroni is just so cool too!  its cool to think these are real people. I lve the scripture about captain moroni being so righteous that if everyone were like him, the devil would never have power over the children of men.  the book of alma would be such an epic movie. wowza.  
Okay I could talk your ear off about that, but i just love the scriptures.  Its so much fun!  ahhhh! ok. 
I hope all is well.  I bought an awesome sweater with llamas on it.  Ill send a picture.  
I love you! 
peace and blessings
hermana hanks

1. why dont i like chilean dogs? point proven. they leave their poopies for me to step in. yuck! worst one yet by far.

2.dead rat we found

3. satanas in action


6.happy pday. its dumping here!

8. run thru da jungle

May 20, 2013

How are you all?? I bet its crazy back home.  It{s crazy here because our first transfer is already over.  Hermana Ortega is getting transfered, and for me, I have no idea, but I am guessing I will be staying here.  
It was kind of a bad week for numbers because a lot of our citas fell thru and that was a disappointment, but there were some really good serving oportunidades we have this week.  
On tuesday, we had lunch with Hermana Sonia.  I love her!! She seriously is like my little Chilean mother.  I am starting to understand her better which is good.  She discovered i love spicy things and makes spicy food.  In fact, we share a love for spicy things and so thats pretty awesome.  Afterwards, she came with us to see an elderly member in our ward named Hermano Rabe.  he lives sort of nearby, and we shared a brief message, but then hermana sonia got to work and started cleaning away.  She{s so cute, just this little Chilean woman, less than 5 feet, going to work. If there is an example of service here on my mission, it is definitely her.  It felt really good to help Hermano Rabe out too because he is pretty old. I realized that we ask members if we can serve them, but you really just have to go and do even if they say they dont need help.  
winter is definitely starting to kick in here...oh my goodness im sitting at the computer right now and my hands are freezing!! At night, i sleep in 3 layers and might up it to four.  apparently it gets a lot colder in july.  
so on wednesday, i think it was, we went to an appointment and there was seriously another crazy dog (satanas we call them).  he was showing his teeth behind the bars and at first i kinda laughed because it was behind bars.  bigggg mistake. the dog of course fit thru the bars and makes its way out.  we made sure to not act panicked and just slowly walked down the stairs.  seriously.  we eached grabbed a rock too just in case. haha.  i like cats so much more in chile.  i never thought i would say such a thing.  
we set a fecha with our investigator alejandro.  hes the one who has come to church for a year and is pretty solid, its just hard to get legally married quickly here.  we invited his girlfriend of 38 years (crazy i know) to be baptized with him, but she said she was just confused.  shes become more receptive and she reads the book of mormon to him because his eye sight is not very good.  apparently before she wouldnt be in the same room as the missionaries.  its kinda amazing that shes come and talked with us now.  i hope she eventually will get baptized.  i know she feels something when we teach them.  she doesnt like to leave her house, but said she will come to the baptism, so my companion and i put the baptism on sunday...after church =) 
So this is weird, but my companion and i make beets for lunch.  oh man they are so good. hahaha.  the fruit here is like heaven. seriously!!  the grapes are gigantic and are the best grapes ive ever eaten. 
one thing i studied that was interesting this week was about hope.  i studied it in the Christlike attributes chapter in PMG and its so good.  i turned to the section on hope and read about that.  it wasnt really a slap to the face but kind of.  its something i really need to work on!  its something id encourage anybody to read.  the Christlike attributes chapter, and pick one and try and live it.  PMG is da bomb.  
We were at hermana sonias another time last week and i helped her do her dishes.  it was so cute because she was humming different church songs and we were singing and doing dishes. kind of awesome?? yeah. then afterwards, she said, sank you! sank you very much. so cute. 
we had a very interesting visit with some members.  we visited the mom and sister of a member who is super active.  it was interesting though because they said they ahve  a lot of faith and read the scriptures and have miracles in their life everyday, but they come up with excuses not to come to church.  we really want to get them to come because they need the blessings of going to church like everybody else!
i think my favorite part of this week was lst night.  we visited a less active member family.  its kind of a hike to get there.  ive only met this member once.  we came inside and we decided to do a noche de hogar (family home evening ). she was there with her two kids.  i was amazed at that women and her family.  their house is tiny, probbaly half the size of our pension. it only has two rooms that you can see, the kitchen and the bedroom.  her husband isnt a member, and they dont go to church when he is in town.  he wasnt there.  when i walked into that room, we saw a gospel princples book and the mom was teaching her two children about joseph smith.  they were eccstatic when we decided to do a noche de hogar!  the boy was no more than 9 and the little girl was probably like 4.  
we let the boy choose which song to sing, and we sang, loor al profeta, which is praise ot the man in english. ummm can you say a little stud!!?? he had all the verses memorized!!  and they were both excited and wanted each to say the prayers.  i couldnt understand everything, but i could see that that family really are true disciples of Christ, because even though they cant come every week, they do all they can and love God.  there was such a special spirit in that home last night.  I don{t think ive ever felt it stronger than that this whole time ive been here.  there was just something about love among them.  i dont really know how to describe it.  i think one thing that touched me a lot was when we got there, their mom said, we knew the missionaries were going to come.  kamilo just kept saying they would come.  
i cant wait to go back and see them again!  they are a great family.  
the language is coming better.  got lots to work on still for sure because hermana sonia{s son, leo, still calls me sister tarzan.  hahaha.  
there are some pretty amazing things out here.  
i finally found an awesome fanny pack!!  I am going to try and send something home eventually, soooo...that will probably be amongst it. you can enjoy the beauty of it with your eyes, but touch it and you shall be cast out of my email contacts. 
i love yall. 
hermana hanks

1. Us and Hermano Rabe. LOVE HIM!

2. found some awesome stairs and felt inclined to take a picture

3. these animals here...this one is for jenn. hilarious right?? funny cause dogs do this same thing in the middle of the sidewalk.

4. super foggy today.

May 13, 2013

Buenas Días!
Yes, it was swell to talk to you all yesterday! Very fun very fun indeed.  I was kind of worried because everytime i talk to english speakers here, I get awkward and confused. hahaha.  twas fun.  And I got Justin´s announcement finally this week.  I LOVE IT!  It´s on my desk with a few other fam pictures.  Superrrr cute.  Glad justin´s getting a haircut too. hehehe. That´s crazy how close the wedding is.  
Okay. sooooo let´s see.  This week was swell!  For the most part.  On Tuesday, we have two investigators that have been investigators for over 2 years.  It´s a bit complicated, but they go to church every week.  Here goes:  they are both widows, and because she´s a widow, she recieves a pension of money each month.  She gives it to her son.  Problem is, they aren´t married and are living together, and if they get married she loses that pension.  They want to be baptized.  It takes a while to get married here though, I think I told you that last night, because they have to take out a date or something from the goverment and it can be a few months.  We have tried getting together with them, but they both work a lot.  We did however try their house this week, and we saw that they were both there.  Inez, the woman, was home too, which was out of the ordinary because she works everynight until 9 I think.  I don´t remember the full story, but she was home because something happened to her granddaughter and her granddaughter was in a coma.  We sang them a song and shared a scripture with them.  They said they tried going to the church last week and ask for a prayer for that little girl, but it was stake conference, so nobody was at our building. (nobody knew what time stake conference was at...) anyways, we offered a prayer for that little girl and for them.  It was very cool. 
  I´ve told you a little bit about Francisco.  The 14 year old who has been coming to church for 2 years but his mom won´t let him be baptized.  We help him with his english and he can kind of be a little bit of a turd when we share a message with him. (everyone is at that age :)).  anyways, he was doing a little better this week.  our bishop had talked to his mom and asked why he couldn´t be baptized, and she said it was because she wanted to see a change in him first.  We´ve been trying to help him help around his house and help him mom too.  He´s been a bit less of a turd this week.  We were surprised because when we met with him on friday, he didnt have any english he needed help with, he just wanted us to share.  We were kinda touched by that.  I think he just needs to be loved.  We want to get him to serve a mission someday.  That´s why I was hoping you could send me one of those book of mormon reading charts and just have him read a few verses each day.  
  We visited a lady named Irma in our ward.  She´s probably about 60 and her mother is about 88 and has alzheimer´s.  She´s such a cute little old lady, but she´s sick and doesn´t come to church.  She doesn´t remember anything, even if its just a few minutes after she says it.  We love her though!  We went and sang to her a song, then shared a message with Irma.  We want to get a picture with this little old lady because she´s so cute.  Her name is Blanca. 
 Okay, thursday....was awesome!!! I told you last week about our investigator Cristina.  She has a baptismal date and said she wants to bring her daughter to the lessons too.  Her daughter is 11, and flipping awesome.  They really like blue eyes here, and when we first met her, she looked at me and said something like,"sus ojos!" (your eyes). We challenged her to baptism and she accepted too.  What made that so much better was that she asked us how she can serve a mission and what she has to do to be a missionary.  She is seriously amazing!  They were going to come to church again, but they were gone in Quilpue, the interior, to visit her dad (mothers day weekend).  so next week we are hoping. 
  After we left that appointment, we were walking past a door of a contact that we had tried, but never had much success in getting ahold of.  We saw there were lights on, so we decided to try it.  A lady named Nancy opened the door.  She invited us in, and her granddaughters, Vania, and Alejandra, were there as well.  Their mom, Nora, was the one we had contacted, but she wasn´t there.  Anyways, after talking with them a little bit, we found out that nancy is a member, but menos activo (inactive).  Her son was really active, and took Vania to church when she was 7, but he passed away.  Vania is 18 now, and they both still have their Libro de Mormons.  I think they felt the spirit of why we were there.  It was really neat.  They seemed interested and we are meeting with them tomorrow night.  
  We went to a mothers day activity at the church for relief society for a little bit before our coordination meeting.  i love the women in our ward.  (even if i can´t understand them a lot of the time).  They´re just cute little chilean women who are probably 4´5 and love the gospel.  They actually had torta-cake, which you never eat here, and a ton of bread. hahaha.  oh my gosh the bread here is super good, but you have to be careful.  
  It was a good week.  I´m psyched for this week!  We only have one more week until transfer, and I´m guessing I´ll be staying here, but you never know.  
I´m glad you like the pictures milo posts.  hahahaha. oh my goodness he likes pictures.  I´m glad you could meet me chilean/colombian familia last night.  They are awesommmmee.
  Did you like my reggae earrings? :D hehehe
Language is coming along.  Somedays are better than others, but it takes time.  I don´t think I´ve said anything embarassing at least...hahaha
I saw at least 2 people with super cool fanny packs this week.  I can guarantee you right now that I will be buying one of those and wearing that all over the place after my mission.  along with some crazy sweater everything.  100% serious.
I know I said this last week, but I seriously love reading the scriptures!  I was reading the libro de mormon aloud for language study in isaias...okay yeah its a little tricky to read and understand in english, but i challenge you to try that in spanish.  in my personal study, i was reading about alma and amulek.  they are seriously missionary STUDS.    
I´m grateful to be here in this part of the world!  It´s awesome looking out your window each morning and knowing you´re about to go preach the gospel to the lamanites.  hehehe. but for serious.  
love you!
-hermana hanks

1. mothers day celebration in our ward

2. gnarly sunset

3. you know you were once a rock climber when you tie your belts in a manner of figure 8 kjnots

4. mothers day celebrations!

5. mothers day celebrations!

6. us and francisco

May 6, 2013

I´m glad you liked los fotos.  The dogs here seriously kill me.  We had some pretty epic experiences this week!  
the weather is a little bipolar day by day.  Some days (like today) are super nice and warm and the beach looks ever so nice, but other days its really cold and kinda misty.  My coats are both adequate and keep me warm.  the gloves with the tips off the fingers are especially handy too.  Lets see now...

We woke up once this week and heard the closet pounding like someone was knocking on it.  I thought it was the neighbors or something, but my companion said it was a temblor.  aka the ground shook.  it only lasted about 7 seconds or so, but still awesome.  

Our schedule: we wake up at 7, exercise, shower, studies for 4 hours, then we have almuerzo con un miembro.  Our almuerzos (lunching) last 1.5 hours because they are the biggest meal of the day.  Pretty much, you eat a fairly small breakfast, big lunch, then they have what is called "once" which is their last sit down where they eat el pan (bread).  with ecco.  around here, they don't feed us overboard most of the time which is nice.  its also nice because the desserts here aren't american desserts.  we have fruit for dessert, with a little bit of cream or what not.  so it is possible to work after a big meal!  we had ice cream twice this week, but the ice cream here is kinda like foam.  you put it in your mouth and it dissolves within a second.  After our almuerzo, we work until we come home at night around 9:30.  

Everyone here wears crocs with socks.  It is kinda awesome?? we also ate beets one this week.  supppper delish.  made me think of my friend dwight schrute.  

so we got a fecha again this week!!! theres a sweet old lady in our ward named hermana mataluna.  she has a women who takes care of her who isnt a member.  we went to her house for almuerzo this week and afterwards, we just talked about the restoration.  my companion had given her a libro de mormon once before, but other than that hadnt seen too much of her.  i got to say the first vision.  it was pretty cool and the spirit was definitly there!  my companion then asked her if she found these things were true for herself, if she would be baptized.  she said she has been reading the libro de mormon im pretty sure, and said she would like to be!  so hopefully that goes through!  she is awesome.  we are meeting with her again tonight and shes bringing her 11 year old daughter.  Im excited!

There was one day this week where it literally dumped on us.  We were on the other side of town and didnt have umbrellas.  Our hair was literally plastered to our heads.  it was super epic.  my comp had water in her shoes and luckily i was wearing my long trench coat so i was completely dry on the inside.   our backpacks were still wet on the inside the next morning and our passalong cards and pamphlets and agendas were sorta trashed after that.  nonetheless, it was super fun hiking around these streets in the rain!
we didn't meet with Juan this week because our mamita is in the hospital.  she has cancer in her eye and is getting surgery on it i think.  we hope all goes well with her.  We pay her each transfer to do our laundry and bring it to her once a week. 

We met with a couple named Emilio y Nancy.  they are both good Christian people and we talked to them about the book of mormon.  we meet a lot of people who say they believe that all paths lead to God which can be a barrier for some people.  I think that may have been one thing Emilio was struggling with, but we have un other cita with them tonight so we will see.  Nancy is a rockstar though!!! She really seems firm in her belief in the family I think, and said she would like to read the Book of mormon.  I dont understand everything she said, but it seemed pretty positive.  

we tried with Marie angelica y sergio, but they have been hard to find at home lately.  hopefully we meet with them soon!

once a week, we have a lesson with an investigator named francisco.  He is 14 years old and we also help him study english for his english class afterwards.  He has his dads permission for baptism, but not his moms.  Our bishop told us that he talked to his mom about why he isnt allowed to be baptized and she said its because she hasnt really seen a change in him.  Hes a sweet boy, but definitely immature sometimes.  We are trying to work with him and help him want to be a good boy.  he has attended church for 2 years.  

okay crazy last monday before i wrote yall, this guy stopped us on the street.  he recognized us as missionaries and started asking us a lot of stuff that i didn't understand.  then we went off into how he was saying he is hindu and hare krishna and all that stuff.  he talked for a long time, so we finally just told him we needed to go.  we were street contacting a few days later and found a sweet old lady named tina.  we made a cita with her and went to visit her a day or two ago.  we pressed the telephone from the outside of her pension complex and a man answered.  we told him it was the missionaries, and he came outside.  SAME GUY.  not even kidding you!  we then remembered tina telling us that she lives with her 40 year old son who practices hinduism.  we went inside because tina was there too, and started with a prayer.  about halfway thru, her son came and sat down.  We briefly introduced El libro de mormon when my comp asked him to read the first paragraph of the introducting. bam.  the second after that he went off into i don't even know what about knowledge and krishna and how he believes in the bible.  it was super confusing??? but none the less... i felt bad for tina because we really wanted to teach her and i think she wanted to be taught!  he talked a ton and my comp tried clearing things and to get back to the message of the book of mormon.  i felt like i should bear my testimonio, so I just told him "i know i don't understand much espanol nor speak it well, but i do know that these things are true" and bore a brief testimony.  He was really nice and all, but we werent there to discuss that kind of stuff.  We finally said we needed to go, closed with a prayer and left.  it was definitely crazy!  

we listened to christmas music last week during the cold days because it will be hot during christmas here...:) 
one day last week, we were coming out of our apartment and there were a ton of firetrucks in front of our pension complex.  someone had cut a power cord we found, and half the city lights were out. 
we have continued trying to visit menos activos.  we visited one in particular named claudia.  her mom is active, and she likes the church and the members.  she is a single mom with 3 boys and one is an infant.  (p.s. chilean children and infants are soooo cute).  we are trying to get her to start coming back at least to one of the meetings.  i saw a picture on her wall of her and i think her mom and sister a few years ago at the temple and they all looked so happy!  she needs these blessings in her life. 

Im amazed at a lot of people here.  I realize more and more how blessed i am. 

yesterdy we had stake conference at the stake center in viña.  okay....stake conference in spanish. definiteltly kinda hard to understand.  it was fun though because we got to hear President Kahnlein and his wife speak.  They´re awesome!  all of the stacca sang now let us rejoice.  i love that song and its even cooler hearing it sung on the other side of the world.  

en closing...Im reading in the book of mormon each day and wow it is by the far the best book EVER.  I love all the stories inside of it.  Im reading in Mosiah about the sons of Mosiah and Alma the younger and them being studly missionaries and about how they want to go teach the gospel to the lamanites.  its pretty legit to think about teaching among the lamanites 2000 years later.  the prophets speak with so much boldness too.  the scriptures are so epic!  me and hna ortega were talking about how legit of a movie they would make..haha.  (sometimes i admit, i compare a character or two to lotr...nerd i know).  

i love our ward here.  there's so many short little chilean women who are so cute and tiny.  hermana sonia (shes kind of our chilean mother) the relief society president, ive found has a very good sense of humor kinda like mine.  she always sings to herself and the other day she sang "hey jude" but those were the only words she knew. hahahaha.  they are so great. 

well, i love you all.  peace and blessings.  hope all goes well con el matrimonio and you should send more pictures of your lives because they bring me much joy on pday. 

-hermana hawnks. (hanks)

1. Yes, there was a cat chilling in the internet cafe. This is not uncommon.

2. bought myself some chilean sweater pants! you best believe i will be loading up my suitcase with these!

3. chilean bbq

4. delicious food from our asado con la familia galindo. yummm

5-7. jelly of these sunsets?? yeah theyre pretty awesome!!!