Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

18 de Agosto

Welp folks, this is the last letter from hermana emily hanks. Kinda depressing, but really, I shouldnt be having that attitude.  There is always the next thing in life!  My mission days are counting down rapidly, and its without a doubt been the best and hardest experience of my life (as everyone says).  Im grateful for every minute of it-every trial, every lesson, contact, etc.  I love contacting because i really dont have a fear to tell people i know that this is true and that God lives.  
Mom-my companions name is hermana stack. i cant believe i didnt tell you that!  shes from arkansas.  
this week was good. miracle time-mariella stopped smoking! they changed houses, so she doesnt live next to a place where there are cigs and it doesnt smell like it there either. 
the members are psyched about the ward still. yesterday, we had a relief society lesson super good. in the end, one of the hermanas said,"there really is a spirit of love here. gracias hermanas. " something like that. 
everybody thouht i was leaving yesterday. haha. but nope! one more week. and im gonna give everything i got without any regrets.  
see yall in a week. 

-hermana hanks

11 de Agosto

so the mish is THE BEST.  we have seen tantos milagros his week.  so much change too! lots of investigators and less actives in church ayer and the members more active are super excited about stuff now. they are smiling, lauging, and really, i think its th change of ward, and the efforts they are making to read the scripitures each day and go to church each week.  there is a change of spirit. its so loving.  i was thinking, it is literally "SION."  coquimbo was a stake 15 years ago, but stooped down to district aftewards.  may coquimbo forever more stay stake!  we recieved lots of references from members this week as well! we are so blessed.  i love these folks so much. they are my family, my people.  we were in a lesson with a less active receinte reactivating. i felt like the only thiing i wanted for her was that she was happy and smiling.  
my companion is great! we are great friends.  im sad we only have one transfer. we have both stooped to the "treats" level.  doing nice stuff for the members, notes, food, anything that will get them excited. (mom will never belive me! ha) and its working too i think!  
investigators are good. mariella is trying to quit smoking.  a member gave us a plan that he used all th time in the mish. she has lots of friends in church now too.  she got a blessing and we really want to baptize her before i leave!
we are teaching a guy from argentina. hes really cool and really has an attitude of charity. hes very proper and rich, and kinda preppy. hes awesome! and he read the book of mormon and said he felt the part we marked really hit him.  alma 42. o yeah. 
marisol is great. we taught her the law of chasity and she looked up,"well im not sexually pure, so how can i get baptized like Christ did'"  we explained she can get married or separated and repentence. she said her bf is signing divorce papers and she is going to talk to him.  she is seriously the cutest lil lady ever.  she loves the church too!
so it was a great week.  the Lord is just dumping out blessins here!
aight. see yall in 2ish weeks. its flyin.

-hermana hanks

4 de Agosto

YIKES. trunkies!!!! lets give hermana hanks the biggest scare of her life!!! 
well either way, ill be leaving for vina in 20 days to start the goodbyes.  i thought it was a joke from you guys! but then i recieved other emails from other folks. geez!
sooo...i will probably not be giving my talk august 17. haha. 
well this week was good. mariella finally went to church yesterday. natalia got back from brazil, and we are working with the members in our new branch. SUPER BUENOS ellos.  
the work is going well. i am happy im not going home early! yikes.  hahaha. 
i love you all!
see you in 23 days! =D and not 13!! haha
-hermana hanks

28 de Julio

uvimos una semana buena.  estamos buscando mas nuevos investigadores, y conociendo a nuestro nuevo barrio.  pues, todavia, es una estaca, pero en el fin del agosto, sera una estaca.  genial no?
entonces, ahora, nuestro nombre es "tierras blancas C." en nuestra rama, hay 2 elderes y 4 hermanas.  primera vez he escuchado de algo asi.  pero genial! la rama es super buena con mucho animo.  nuestro barrio 4 esquinas necesita mucho este animo, entonces, es un cambio super bueno!
estabamos tratando de visitar a una menos activa.  tocamos la puerta, nada. tocamos de nuevo, nada.  la vecina al lado de esta puerta abrio su puerta.  le preguntamos si conocia a la menos activa, y ella dijo que no. pero nos pusimos a hablar, y estuvo super bueno!  Ella se llama mariella.  en el fin, acepto un libro de mormon.  "para mi?! oh. no se que debo decir! wow!" y estaba super animada.  despues dijo, "estaba haciendo cosas en la casa, y pense que escuche algo. senti que debia abrir la puerta y mire! alli estaban ustedes."  fue genial. le invitamos a bautizarse y ella dijo que si!  la cosa es que no asistio el domingo, pero esta semana, esperamos que si!
marisol, nuestra investigadora de oro, sigue siendo una investigadora de oro, menos una cosa. ella ha estado conviviendo por 30 años. su marido es super bueno, y todo.  despues de enseñarle esta semana, nos regalo un bolso grande de anaranjas. ella es tan linda!  le voy a echar MUCHO de menos.  
im good. its so dang dry here. sometimes i feel like im turning into a lizard. youd never think that living so dang close to the beach, but its true! 
fleas are making their last attempts at hermana hanks. oh well. im pretty used to it. 
ive started the libro de mormon again! i think this is my 6th time on the mission, 4 time in spanish. we be best friends! haha. im trying to finish the new testament before i leave. right now, im finishing first corinthians.  
well. there ya have it.

-hermana hanks

21 de Julio

Mi mision esta terminando demasiado rapido. y muchas cosas estan pasando! primera de las noticias. no mas estoy en la serena. tuvimos cambios esta semana. sigo en el mismo sector, pero ayer, cambiaron nuestras limites y criaron una estaca en coquimbo!  coquimbo era un distrito no mas, pero extendieron todo y ahora estamos en coquimbo. es otra zona tambien, entonces cambiamos de distrito, zona, barrio, y todo.  me siento un poco triste porque amo mucho a nuestro barrio y no voy a ver muchos ahora, tampoco las hermanas, nuestra zona, distrito, etc. duro. pero, es mejor porque significa que la iglesia esta creciendo. 
tambien. estoy entrenando una nuevita gringa de los estados unidos. ultimo cambio.  es divertido!  ella es de little rock arkansas, la unica he conocido en la mision de ahi.  es muy amable. y hermana cook es la compañera de hermana maldonado.  
ayer, cambiaron nuestros limities. nuestro sector pertenece en coquimbo, la region mas sur. entonces eso va a ser un cambio mi ultima 5 semanas en la mision. significa que tenemos orden, un obispo, lideres, mas apoyo. 
bueno. les amo mucho.  

-hermana hanks

14 de Julio

como estan esta semana?? pues, ojala que no se molesten, pero en las entrevistas con presidente esta semana, le prometi que no hablase ninguna palabra en ingles, leer, escribir, nada hasta que yo este en los estados unidos. entonces, aqui estamos.  estare escribiendo en español estas proximas 6 cartas. 
bueno. la hermana brox, la otra hermana aca termino su mision y fue a viña para su ultima cena en la mision. sus padres estan en viña. que loco no? bueno. quiero quedarme en la serena mi ultimo cambio, pero vamos a ver mañana. nuestros lideres de zona nos van a llamar mañana en la noche.  creemos que hermana weist se va porque es su primer sector y lleva 6 meses aca ya. 
la entrevista fue super bueno.  presidente es tan bueno. no puedo creer que solo tengo una entrevista mas ahora.  
esta semana, visitamos muchos miembros, y estamos haciendo muchos noches de hogares. anoche, hicimos uno donde practicamos hablando con personas en lugares publicos sobre el evangelio. los miembros les gusto mucho, tanto que quieren tener otra noche de hogar la proxima semana y invitar sus mios. genial. 
natalia tuvo su entrevista para irse al templo. entonces...sabe quien me va a acompañar cuando termine la mision'?? al templo. YEP! natalia.  esto animada. 
5 investigdores en l reunion sacramental ayer. muchos milagros!!! pues estoy. les quiero. cuidese.

-hermana hanks

7 de Julio

como estan?
this week was good. natalia is super psyched about being a member of the church and thinking about serving a mission. as well as our other investigator beatriz. in ingles classes this week, she whispedred to us,"hermanas. quiero ser misionera!." translation. she wants to be a missionary!  so shes looking at other places where she can live and when she does, to the baptism water!
happy 4th of july. it was cloudy here. haha. yes i forgot to wear red, white, and blue. but i did see a little random kid in a colonial outfit waving a usa flag. i thought,"what country is this again?"
i think im getting sick. my throat is starting to feel super constricted. if thats the right word. 
well things are going well here.  we are trying to find new investigators and we are trying to work lots with the members, doing community family home evenings.  im finishing the book of mormon. IT IS AWESOME. book of ether.  crazy secret abominations. intersting that from the beginning of the world, the fight has always been a fight for freedom and ageny. 
interviews with president this week! yay.
con amor,

-hermana hanks

30 de Junio

We had a baptism!!! yayyy. natalia got baptized on saturday and confirmed on sunday. shes seriously great.  shes so psyched about the gospel and loveees to learn.  the baptism went great!
it was funny-we had a priest from our ward baptize her-to get him psyched for his mission. or as the ym president puts it,"baptism fire!" hes putting in his papers for his mission.  lil practice anyways, hes not super stronger and was nervous (natalias a cutie =) ) haha. but anyways, she went in the water, fully submerged, and came out. then they werent quite balanced, and we see jonathan lose his grip a little bit and they both start falling forwards in the water. poor thing! hermana weist and i ran to the bathroom, nervous that she might be super embarassed, but she was changing and laughing happily, "hermanas! me cai!" or to say,"hermanas, i fell!" and as we were leaving to see the baptism of the other hermanas, we hear,"ese es el dia mas feliz de mi vida!" to translate,"this is the happiest day of my life!"  I LOVE HER! weve made a goal that she should go do baptisms for the dead in the temple when i go to the temple in august.  her  mom and sister went to the baptism and we learned that they are also very receptive, although claim to not have much interest.  we wanted the baptism to be special, and we knew we succeeded when her mom afterwards said,"it surprised me! very beautiful the ceremony. " i sang "abide with me tis eventide" with a member because its natalias favorite song and we didnt ahve a piano in the room.  
thats sweet you did the triathlon mom! i was actually telling my companion the other day someday i want to do one. way to go!
im finishing reading the book of mormon.  we are marking it in a certain way. my companion got super sick this week with a high fever, so i got caught up a little bit.  miracle of the week! my companion was super sick for a week and i never got sick. thank goodness. lets hope it stays that way....i do not want to be sick my last transfer oft he mish. 
life is good in la serena.  we are starting to see changes in this ward-a little bit more love. luis our investigator-finally people are starting to sit by him! and not as many people sit alone.  we are seeing miracles! 
it doesnt seem like my ttime as a missionary is winding down-i definitely dont feel like it, and i know i have to take advantage of every minute i get because the end is sneaking up on me.  
another thing-chile is out of the world cup. sad day!
its seriously very cold here! but luckily natalias mom gave us a water pillow to use at night that keeps us a little warmer.  
have a good week!

hermana emily hanks

23 de Junio

Hows is going? 
this week was great. basically, natalia our investigator is awesome! shes a golden investigator and more. her major is cooking, so she always cooks us something delicious.  i already feel like shes like a sister to me! she passed her baptismal interview on friday and is going to get baptized this saturday. 
LUIS. alright. luis luis luis. the wife of luis took off the order in his house that is impeding him to get baptized.  now he lives in his house legally! the thing is, we need a document. so he will go today to get proof on a certificate that everything is legal. on saturday, he passed his interview as well. his prayers are the cutest thing ever-an almost 60 year old man humbling himself before God, is something really amazing, really showing that to be born again is literally being born again spiritually. anyways, every once in a while, luis has his "zeezrom days." where he wants to give up and not commit. they dont happen very often, but it happened the day after his interview. we were walking and we saw him walking his dog. we talked to him. he was excited for his baptism. 45 minutes later, we get a call saying that luis is at the stake center looking for us because he doesnt want to continue. well, we talked to him and he was just having a bad day. like i said, a zeezrom day. but all is good, hes psyched and wants to get baptized this saturday!
world cup. its crazy down here!  its hilarious because EVERYONE is jumping up and down with excitement. even the women are screaming andshouting. their hearts are strongly with their soccer. anyways, we were walking on the avenue near the beach and a billion cars came out hoking their horns,"chi chi chi le le le, viva chile!" a million times.  a few folks looked thru their windows and said in their latino accents,"united states! united states!" lol. we just kinda cheered. 
to get more investigators to church, we made breakfast and brought it to the church.  it was kinda last minute, and only beatriz and patricio and natalia could come. but, nonetheless, we are going to announce it more in advance this week.  
I finally finished Jesus the Christ. mind blown! i wanna read it again now. im busy reading the book of mormon again.  now in helaman with all the secret combinations. interesting reads about the contrast between the good and the evil. 
well that pretty much sums this week. i hope you like the pictures because i sent a lot...and its probably the last load youll get before august. 
the time is just flying by! its not even funny...only 8 more emails in my mission to write home. craziness.  
oh yeah-the ward pianist moved! so i am back at the keys. and sooo dang excited! note to future missionaries-people love you if you play the piano...haha. so take advantage. 
love you all!

hermana hanks

16 de Junio

chi chi chi le le le viva chile!!!
woooo. yay world cup!!. unfortunately, we arent permited to watch it, but we hear about it from all the folks.  its pretty epic though!  everyone is super psyched about it here. the bad thing is, nobody recieves us during the games of chile.  
Happy fathers day dad! i did not forget, dont worry!  
well this week was awesome. sunday was the best day of my life.  we have been praying lots and fasting for our area, talking to lots of people. ive been trying to make my contacts better and really try and show love and charity to those with whom i am contacting in the street and in their houses.  still though, we havent found too many new investigators.  on saturday, i prayed specifically that miracles in this area would happen, and wow did the Lord decide to bless hermana hanks.  we arrived at the church yesterday.  the other hermanas in our ward tell us that an investigator is here who just moved from santiago.  she was listening to missionaries before and wants to get baptized.  it was cool because she lives with her mom who isnt a member.  we contacted her mom about 2 months ago and gave her a pamphlet.  natalia (investigator fromsantiago) told us she was praying that she would find us and that is when she saw the pamphlet with our number and address of the church, etc.  then we had great news from luis that he might (as of this week) be living in his house legally, so he can also get baptized maybe! then a lot of members went to church, more than usual.  and THEN, we ate delicious lasagna, a rarity in chile. wow. i learned a great deal about patience and diligence with that.  
i was studying one morning and my table started moving and the wall. just a little temblor. it lasted about 5 seconds. haha. 
we also had mission conference in viña!  we left at 1 in the morning, i pretty much didnt sleep and pulled an allnight and an alldayer. we were in vina for 3 hours, and returned. it was so fun to see everyone! i saw hermana bravo, martinez, hermana call, zimmerman, etc... and a lot of my elder friends as well.  it was like a great big family reunion!!
elder robbins from the 70 spoke. he is a stud. it was like a question answer thing.  i liked a lot about what he said-he spoke about really following the spirit-as well as in planning. then how we can use the atonement as missionaries, and i learned a lot of cool things that i never knew before!
well.  that was pretty much it. good week!
love you all,

hermana hanks

9 de Junio

Que tal!
thank you for sending the pictures mum. you did reinact that picture from 20 years ago very well!  minus the fact that i was about to be born.  im glad you are all having fun! justin said its really hot there.  to be honest, im freezing here. occasionally we have nice afternoon sun, but in the mornings, im using all the clothes i can get my hands on because im so dang cold.  
im so excited for this week!
tomorrow, we have a conference of all the mission in viña. so you know hat that means? roadtrip!  we are taking a bus at 12:30 tonight, traveling to viña, and then probably traveling back. im pumped. elder robbins from the 70 is going to speak to us!
so we have had lots of good stuff happen this week.  we have investigators who attend church each week, but each one has something that is impeding them to get baptized. there are 3 of them. Luis-the one who was going to get baptized about 2  months ago, Graciela-she lives with her boyfriend, and Beatriz-also lives with her boyfriend.  
Luis-continues with animo.  sometimes he gets a little discouraged, but he hasnt faulted a sunday since april.  hes reading hte book of mormon, the only thing is, he has to wait until a few complications with his house and the law clear up.  in the process. 
graciela-MIRACLE! she told us this week that today she is going to the registro civil to take our a date to get married. she wants to get married as soon as possible because she wants to get baptized as soon as possible. shes been going to church for almost 4 years.  shes super excited and said she hopes to get baptized while we are here.  YES. and she invited us to eat sopaipillas this week and they were delicious. 
beatriz-shes reading, going to church, and we taught her the law of chasisty. she wants to be good with God, so she said she is going to try and live it.  her and her boyfriend said they are looking for a place where she can rent and they can live separated.  
it was great. 
weve been a little concerned about beatriz this week. someone in her family has been sending her anti-mormon testimonies. shes been asking us about them and ive been telling her,"do not read those they will just confuse you."  this week, we were walking in the street and the thought came to my mind,"call beatriz." so i thought, "ok!" but then thought, well ill call her in the nighttime.  but the feeling didnt go away, so we called her to see how she was doing and everything.  normal. 
about 2 minutes after i hungup, we recieved a text message from her saying this"Hermanas antes que me llamaran, yo iba a buscar los testimonios de ex mormones en internet, y justo me llamaron...asi que no lo hice.  gracias por llamarme, que Dios las bendiga."  translation-she was going to look up antimormon testimonies and we called her right in time, so she didnt do it. when we visited them, her and patricio(her bf) were both in awe that we had called them just in time. it was pretty cool. 
well, love you all a lot. have a good rest of your time in germany! (bring me back something french.-did i already use that line like 50 times? probably...)

-hermana hanks

2 de Junio

These letters this week were HILARIOUS to read. I remember when i first arrived in chile that i could not write very well on the keyboards and it was a disaster. its weird because in my area there is a whole neighborhood full of street names with german composers.  i could not pronounce them too well in the english world, but in spanish world, i am completely lost with pronunciation. 
anyways, that is funny about erika...hahaha
i have not heard about my release date still. if i stay in la serena until the end of my mission, ill probably leave south 24 of august for viña, and will go to the temple on the 26 and then the airport =(. be home by the 27. but i havent heard anything.  
well this week was interesting. with a mix of contacts from hell, shortcuts off cliffs, getting lost in the middle of la serena, and a few other disasters.  it was an adventure! but a great adventure nonetheless.
well to start off, we are still teaching beatriz. we cracked down with the law of chastity and she said she wants to live it. her boyfriend (member) wasnt there when we taught it.  she told us they have plans to get married, but its a little more complicated than that.  if you wanna hear the whole story, wait a few months and i can tell you in person! haha. anyways, shes good. she loves listening to mormon tabernacle choir and watching mormon messages, and they go to just about every activity there is in the church. 
anyways, along with that, my companion and i felt really felt the spirit in each leson that we taught this week. well, almost all the lessons.  we realized that we have a mountain of young women investigators whom we are teaching.  there are about 2 active young women in our ward, and the young men? there are about 12 of them and theyre all spiritual giants.  we went to the president of the young womens house and talked with her.  we encouraged her a little bit and she is excited to leave on visits with us and help our investigators progress, and strengthen that branch of the ward!  it was so excited. the presidents name is maria ines.  she has a great testimony and is very humble!  we are excited to work with her.  
our ward mission leader is awesome. he is busy with his carabinero (police) responsabilities, but nonetheless, we meet with him each week and he does what he can.  his daughter is one of the only yw in the ward, so we want to take her to some appointments as well.  its so exciting!  also to reactive the inactive! 
for the crazy stuff now....well, we had a few rough contacts.  we left two of them with my companion reduced to lots of tears. poor thing.  a few of them just wanted to argue with us and asked a million questions, but wouldnt let us answer. anyways, we pulled out a few good scriptures, but nonetheless, they wouldnt listen. some of the ideas fo these people...=/.  anyways, we bore testimony and we had to walk away from a few of them.  i think i saw that one guy began to quiver a bit. 
next, we were really far, having a family home evening with a menos activa.  we had to go to the coast to teach beatriz so we tried taking a colectivo( like taxis, but they have specific routes), but he pretty much dumped us off in the middle of la serena by the freeway like 10 miles from our house. thank you sir. we could not find any transportation to get us back.  we were out of minutes because it was the end of the month, and it was a saturday when we invite folks to church.  when we were about 9/10 of the way there, our ward mission leader and his wife came and rescued us.  we arrived completely exhausted from all the walking. it was possibly the worst day ever, but our zone leader called us saying "hermanas. dont fret! you guys are working hard." so that encouraged us a little bit. thank you wise zone leader. 
we tried taking a short cut. i sent a picture. there are lots of hills in this part of serena.  we were in a hurry to get back to the house, so we decided to try one of th eshortcuts-there are stairs, and what the heck? little bit of adventure. so we took this little dirt path and we almost made it, until we saw that we had to climb up the dirt path. uhhh oh. well, we climbed up it and eventually made it home in the end...hahaha.
well today, i hope you are all enjoying germany. hows the german speaking going?  do you rmember everything?
today, im going to go eat peruvian food and probably read the end of Jesus the Christ. im almost finished!!!!  i read about the parable of the ten virigins and th talents today in that book. love the parables, in that they are so simple and explain deep doctrine.  
well i dont have much time, but love you all, my hands are cold.

-hermana emily hanks

26 de Mayo

this week was good.  there are some really great things happening right now. for starters, we are teaching a girlfriend of a less active member. she is super receptive.  we taught them one time, and then we came back and they said that they are reading the book of mormon together.  they were already in 1 nefi 7!!! i was trying so hard not to freak her out with my smile of happiness. hahaha. she also said one night she was trying to sleep and couldnt. she looked at the book of mormon and something was telling her she should read it. so she read it, and at the end of the chapter where it said, "orar" or "to pray", she said she prayed and felt calm and could fall asleep after that.  she is so awesome!!!
we also have another investigator named linda.  shes 17 years old and iis super evangelical.  i dont remember if i told you, but she claims to speak in the gift of tongues. it was a little bit weird this story, but ill save you all the details.  anyways, the first time she was kinda closed off, but said we could return. we came back and talked about the restauration.  she had a billion questions that were super deep, but it was so much fun. i really do  like investigators with lots of questions because its so interesting!  its so incredibly vital to follow the spirit and answer with truths that you know are true.  i was reading in alma about the sons of mosiah and i love that they start with simple questions and teach simple truths. 
our investigator lives right on the coast. its so exciting. we have to walk about an hour to get there, but its cool because we get to smell the salty air and see the coast of coquimbo.  we can only go there if there is an investigator there.  alli esta. 
our ward is pretty much suffering. we still dont have a bishop and its been 4 months.  the members are getting really discouraged and we are in a very critical time.  ive been trying to pray a lot. we have started by trying to visit members each day, more than we have been, and we will be fasting and praying lots. 
i really love these people here. ive been praying lots to know what to do for them.  its really a trial for this ward, and this area, but its for something!  
i was reading in Jesus the Christ this week, about the Saviors entrance in Jerusalem, witht he palm leaves and He rode in there, the week before His resurrection.  it really touched me, knowing that the Savior felt sad-His people rejected Him, and he really did do everything out of love for others, and mercy.  right before the biggest event that has probably happened in all the history of the world.  i felt really strongly the love the Savior, giving me the greater desire to love others the same way.
well that sums it up for this week.  love you all and i love my Savior Jesus Christ. 

-Hermana hanks

18 de Mayo

sorry i am so bad at writing! 
this week was crazy. we had a conference de zone and we learned a lot. it was great! 
its freezing here! my bed is literally an ice cube.  i wear 4 pants to bed and 3 shirts including my sweatshirt. people in chile do not have indoor heating or insulation...but its all good. i slept next to the window in rexburg with a heater that didnt work so great either!
this week, few members went to church, but we had the miracle of two investigators whom we had never taught come. their names are beatriz and patricio.  theyre super awesome and we are going to go teach them in tuesday!!  
we had an activity in our ward.  not many went, but it was kind of last minute.  it went well. one of our less active members came!  it was funny. we were going to make popcorn fo rthe dessert and our mission leader comes in,"hermanas. we have a problem. there is no gas." so we couldnt make the popcorn. luckily we got our hands on some completos (hot dogs with avocado, tomato, and hotsauce) to give out. 
my companion and i were totally craving tootsy rolls this week. i dont know why...hahahaha. 
we taught our investigator marisol and her daughter francisca.  francisca is 8 and has a lot of questions.  they are both really receptive, and we are going to pass by more this week.  
our area is huge! and not only that, we only have half of the ward.  
i freaking love the book of mormon. i am reading about alma and amulek right now when they confound zeezrom.  its so cool to read chapters like these as a missionary because you see it from a missionaries perspective. 
i also am reading in the acts as i told you.  i love the mission stories in the acts, and the bravery of the apostles.  scriptures are THE BEST!  im working on studying the doctrines of each lesson again. 
love you all!


4 de Mayo

como estan??? 
well this week was an adventure.  we couldnt find our baptismal date family this week! until last night we finally found them in the house.  which was a giant relief.  the bad thing is, is that they have a grandpa who is visiting them (luckily.)  Hes  slightly sick in his head, and is jehovahs witness and i dont think he likes that we come to visit them a lot.  in our interviews with presidente, my companion told presidente about this man and he told her to make him cookies. so we are going to make him cookies and pray lots!! haha.  we street contact lots. i like contacting!  every contact is different and if its sincere and you ask them about their life, its fun.  some people dont want anything to do with us, obviously, but some folks like to talk.  well okay, we are in chile. they talk a lot, but if its under control, its fun! i love talking to people. which is weird, because if you had asked me that a year ago, or two years ago, i would have told you the complete opposite.  we contacted one guy, and explained briefly about the restoration.  it went well! his name was rodrigo. he also accepted a baptismal date-only if he knew it was true.  he went out of town to illapel (yay illapel!) and returns this week. soooo he was pretty great! his mind was blown when we explained that the scritpures were written on brass plates for a wise reason-something that would last 2000 years.  man. the gospel ROCKS.
we taught an inactive member this week.  we shared a scritpure about the tree of life with her- and we said it was like the feeling of the gospel and joy.  she understood super well and then started to explain that now she understands that it is satan who is destroying her family, and she needs to be the one who saves them.  it was so cool. i started looking for the sciripture about not being tempted more than we can bear, and the part in efesios 6 about the armor of God came right before my eyes. It was definitely the scripture to read her, and i read it to her.  she totally comprended and felt so excited to change the course of her family!  she wants to return to church and everything.  in the end, i told her that i didnt even plan on reading that scripture ot her, but i just kind flipped there.  she was in amazement.  it was so cool! 
theres a boy in our ward named isaias. i think i mentioned him a few weeks ago.  he barely turned 16 and he is a freaking STUD.  sometimes my companion and i joke around, thinking about which members would be good to bring for lessons, we say  "bring out the big guns." with isaias. his testimony is so dang strong!  yesterday, we were kind of discouraged because there werent too many investigators at church and he said,"animo hermanas!  por que tan tristes?"  love this kid. he wil be a great missionary!!! the  youth in this ward are an inspiration to me. 
i kinda got bit by a dog yesterday. it was really vicious and when i started walking away it started to bite my shoes, but luckily nothing on my skin.  
i found mexican food here! i was rejoicing like crazy!!!
well....yeah.  Im gonna say a few words in spanish.  i was worried about losing my spanish with my gringa companion because she always spoke english, and i always spoke spanish. but president made her promise that she would speak spanish until the end of her mission. hahahaha. so im used to alll spanish again!!!!  
mi testimonio es sencillo, pero cierto!  yo se que este es el evangelio y la iglesia de Jesucristo.  Yo se que el libro de mormon es cierto y que puede cambiar las vidas de las personas.  Yo se que Dios tiene todo poder, todo sabiduria, y tal vez nosotros no podemos comprenderlo, pero eso es exactamente porque necesitamos acercarnos a El.  El sabe el camino y nos ama mucho.  estoy feliz porque soy una misionera en Chile.  Estoy feliz porque amo esta obra y que podemos progresar y cambiar, para llega a ser mas como Jesucristo y un dia lograr la vida eterna.  
ahhhhh.  las quiero mucho!  cuidense. 
hahahaha. ok and that email i sent you all was a joke!  ill talk to you all this sunday.  we are two hours ahead in time here. so around 5 or 6???
que esten bien.

hermana emily hanks

Saturday, March 14, 2015

28 de Abril

this week was good!  each week just flies by its not even funny!  
well we had transfers this week. hermana weist and i are staying here together one more transfer.  should be fun!  
well this week was sufficiently less dramatic than the last.  we are trying to find new investigators and decided to knock doors one afternoon.  we were without much success. nobody really answered or was home.  we saw a dog that started barking at us in front of one house and we almost didnt contact it, but then a lady walked up.  we introduced ourselves as misionaries and all and asked if we could share something.  she looked at her daughter and they let us in.  so we went in and had a super awesome lesson!  they totally want to know which of all the churches is the correct church.  we came back the next day and taught the restoration.  they all accepted baptismal dates! hooray.  luckily our ward is pretty big so we want to get them involved with them and stuff. they are awesome.  the moms name is isabel and her two daughters, camila and cecila. 
luis is good.  he came to church yesterday, even though we didnt see him this whole week. still kind of complicated!  
we arent in training anymore, so we proselyte for all the hours of the day.  we leave at 11 in the morning instead of 1230.  our first day out, we almost met the standards of excellence of the mission! minus one lesson and one reference.  it was a great day!  we could feel the spirit strong in the lessons and it was so awesome.  im working to try and be a better teacher, ask more questions inspired and share more experiences of my own.  
ok so i just realized that my english is probably HORRIBLE in this letter. i apologize...hahaha.  
ooo! daylight savings. in chile! nobody told us. so we arrived an hour early in the chapel with the other hermanas in our ward.  we were all super happy! lol. it was all good.  
well. love you all! excited to talk to you in 2 weeks. 

-hermana hanks

21 de Abril

happy late easter!
well this week was insane. also, before, to warn yall, the "a" key does not work here very you can fill them in..haha.  probably te most insane week of my entire mission.  To keep it short, all of this week we were preparing Luis for his baptism.  He passed his interview and everything.  We wanted to baptize him on saturday, that wy we could get confirmed on sunday in sacrment meeting.  Luis is doing great.  The only problem is that he is having legal problems and is living on the streets.  But he is reading the book of mormon and we have been traveling to the church-which is in the section of the elders, each day for the last two weeks.  anyways, he does his prayers so great!  He is lots more humble than when i first met him and wants to change his life and everything.  Weve been teaching him with some other members which has helped as well.  
ANYWAYS.  to save you of the long story, we got a call from the bishopric sayng they wanted to do the baptism on sunday because they werent going to be there on saturday, but we talked it over and a different leader ws going to preside in the baptism.  basiclly we pulled together a bptism in the morning.  we had the font filled, the agenda set, our investigator excited, when we recieved a phonecall..the leaders withdrew their permission from the other leader to preside and the baptism was going to be on sunday.  so that was fun. we went to drain the baptismal font, cried a lot, and told luis that it had to be tomorrow.  then we waited for the elders who had keys to the chapel to come lock it up.  two members showed up and took us to eat-we had to cancel our lunch because we were filling the font.  
the hardest part was when w went out to tell luis, he told us that he didnt want to be baptized and tried giving back his book of mormon. i felt like it couldnt get any worse.  but we convinced him to keep his book of mormon and come the next day for his baptism.  he walked away super hurt and sad, but said he would come. 
then tht night, our zone leaders said that they had talked to luis in the english clsses tht night and he said he was goin to come to church the next day....but he cant get baptized yet still for a load of complicated problems.  
anywys, it was the worst 32 hours ever! but in the end, we talked to luis, and he tlked to one of the counselors nd they put goals for his house sitution so tht he cn get baptized soon...
luis is happy at least. nd humble.  it was literally a miracle tht he didnt go running when he couldnt get bptized on sautyrd or sunday.  
so i dont mean to make this letter sound negative at all!  thats the lst thing im trying to do...just stating the facts.  anywys. luis? still progressing. he wants to be born again...he totlly fits the qualifications for bptism, but has to take care of a few things first!
more than that, i was reading isaiah in my spanish book of mormon. its suprisingly easier to understand in spanish.  who would have thought??
well i guess i learned a lot of things this week.  i think my faith grew, nd the good is that we helped luis recognize it as a trial of his faith-to help him grow more.  
it continues to be chilly at night...but its normal now. 
transfers are this week. im thinking im gonna stay...
but yeah.  from what ive heard, the fires in valpo are under control. so thts good news!
well thats the big news of this week.  we also taught a menos activo family.  the mom is named angela. i love her! shes so sweet.  
i love you all!
hermana emily hanks

14 de Abril

IM SO OLD. holy cow i cannot believe its the end of another transfer...3 transfers left.  but ive decided that i really like la serena! our area is huge and its a little bit of la serena and coquimbo.  by the way mom, your letter says 13 february 2014.  haha.
we did hear about the fires in valpo yesterday in church.  definitely keep those people and missionaries in your prayers. its all over the news from what we hear and i dont think theyve got it under control.  shoooot.  fires and earthquakes.  my thoughts were i guess its all the more important to be super in tune with the spirit because you never know what might happen next.
well. good stuff and not so great stuff happened this week. for starters, luis didnt get baptized. he still wants to, but he had a few problems with the word of wisdom the day before because something bad happened with him.  
further proof that i live in number 12 grimmauld place?  well. i was in the bathroom one morning when i heard two animals fighting on our roof. it scared me. then my companion tells me,"dont worry hermana. we have two cats on our roof who fight. this is normal." lol. well thats fun. 
i think my biggest fear would be this-being in the shower and an earthquake starts. 
ive been in chile exactly more than a year! 
we did service and painted the house of our investigator luisa.  it was really fun and the next day, sadly enough i was kind of sore. hahaha.
the youth here in la serena are pretty great. we had a family home evening with some recent converts and they bore their testimonies. it was so amazing.  two boys are 15 years old and one helped the other int he gospel-hes in the family of less actives.  the one who helped himg et baptizeds name is isaias.  he is awesome! and he has such a strong testimony of the Savior.  theyre great examples for me..
well thats about it for this week to wrap it up short. we are praying for luis and looking for families. 
im psyched for this week! and my fingers are freezing as i type. 
love you all, say lots of prayers for valparaiso and iquique taht all will be ok.

.hermana hanks

7 de Abril

Hola familia!
can i just start out by saying HOW sad i am that this is the last general conference i will have as a fulltime missionary?  my lucky companion has another 2 conferences left.  I absolutely loved it!  We think Elder Zwick should be a talk-show host.  And i loved the testimony of elder packer.  And every was funny. in la serena there are a ton of gringo elders and we all went to the stake center to watch the conference.  we were all excited to watch it in english with all the rest of the world, but they couldnt get it to work.  when we heard elder holland would be the first to speak, our hearts almost broke in half, but we just watched it in spanish.  after that, we all watched the other sessions in english!  love the voices of general authorities...
so yep! there was an earthquake. crazy week i tell ya.  in the mission, we have to have our "kit de emergencia" with all the stuff we need if there is an earthquake. well, guess who went on interchanges with the hermanas who live lower than we do without my emergency kit? this girl here.  we were at an activity and afterwards, someone tells us that an earthquake hit iquique-north of chile.  there was a big tsunami warning.  we couldnt get ahold of any of our leaders in the mission because all the phone lines were going nuts, so the hermana whom i was with and i were driven to our apartment by members, but we were hearing all different kinds of things. one of the firewomen told us we cant enter our apartment, but then another dude said yes, and it was just a whole bunch of craziness.  the members offered that we could stay with them until everything was clear, but finally we just called president kahnelin and he gave us further instruction.  we went to our apartment and in the end, there was no tsunami. but, there was a ton of traffic, mini earthquakes, and LOTS of carabineros (chile police) going everywhere. my companion told me that they were in a house in serena sur and the house began shaking back and forth. 
two days ago, i woke up to my bed shaking and it woke me up. "hermana....did you feel the temblor?" my companion asks me. "si hermana." i tell her.  it was crazy and rather strong. ive woken up a few times, expecting another temblor. haha. suprisingly, there was a 5 grado temblor in salamanca.  but i think all is well down there.  a little bit of damage...and everyone is telling us that there is a greater earthquake yet to come because the earth hasnt released al the energy it needs to release.. not to worry yall, we will be fine. plus, in our zone conference with president, we went over the plan of emergency and everything super well.  but these are the last days folks!  signs of the times...our zone leaders had to evacuate and there were lots of members in the church the night of the tsunami warning...but nothing really came to pass.
well. apart from crazy tsunamis and earthquakes, also a great week!  we experienced a miracle. i just could not believe it, but could believe it.  our investigatr, Luis, who has been attending church for a time and reading the scriptrues, has these crazy ideas and likes to learn.  thats all he has been telling us, so i havent written too much about him.  this week, we emphasized that he needs to read and pray....and to our shock, we saw him in the street when we were on our way to an appointment.  he told us," well just in time i might see you two!" he has a baptismal date for 11 de abril. yep this week! miracle (in interchanges) and he said,"look. i might be going to the north tomorrow (yep bad idea number 1....earthquakes), but i have been reading. i know that i have the truth." and he held up his book of mormon.  can you just say we literally went into shock?  wow. he now is super psyched for his baptism and has his interview tonight with our district leader!  YEAH LUIS. 
we learned that we have investigators who are gypsies. we havent found them lately, buttttt this week maybe?  
i saw a saint bernard named nana. like in peter pan. presh. 
OH! and we finally have a ward mission leader! and whats better? HES A POLICE MAN! yeah. hes pretty cool.  i bet he carries a super cool gun. 
conference with presidente kahnlein. SERIOUSLY THE BEST THING EVER!!!! it gave me so much excitement to get out and work. plus president is hilarious! in a very profesional way. 
for example, we were telling our zone about how one of our investigators thinks the angel moroni is a hologram. president laughed and said," ha! star wars." probably have to know president. then hermana kahnlein is adorable. she speaks super argentinan, like hermana martinez, so it was fun. and she doenst know much english. shes so cute! i played the piano, and it was amazing this conference!!! i wish we could have conferences each week. dangit. 
well yeah. that was the big stuff of this week.  im starting doctrine and covenants study (in spanish...) and its going well! have much to read in these next 4 months. yikes. im so old. 
love you all!  life is good as a missionary.  im still getting to know everyone...its a big area.  training is good. my companion is good. 
the gospel, ROCKS the church is TRUE and i freaking love it.  its the most important thing in my life.  i think so much about the importance of doing even the smallest things-small acts of service, eading th escriptues, and saying heartfelt prayers. they really do make all the difference. God is very very real. and He loves us.  and that is where we can feel the joy and peace in our lives.
con amor

-hermana emily hanks