Monday, October 28, 2013

Week 5 Top 10 list

Top 10 Highlights of Elder Hanks' week:
1)  "accidentally" tore pages out of his scriptures so we had to send him a new set! He is super excited to
     start marking up a new set with all the scriptural and doctrinal insights he is gaining at the MTC !
2) Ran into Elder Clarke who was his District Leader at the Hill Cumorah Pageant! So fun to have the
    brotherhood of the work crew to keep blessing his life! Too bad Elder Hanks didn't have his camera to
    get a pix  !
3) Ran into his cousin, Sis. Ashley Hanks who is going to Argentina!
4) Had a new group of Elders move into the dorm room next to Elder Hanks. This group stays up late
   making noise &  makes it hard for Ammon's room to get to sleep some nights. It's great to have neighbors
   again & they are a pretty fun group of Elders learning Korean.
5) He & his companion were made Zone Leaders. Currently they have 12 sisters & 6 Elders in his Zone but
    will be at 13 Sisters & 10 Elders after Wednesday!
6) He will get to "Host" or greet the new missionaries at the curb as the come to the MTC this Wednesday
    for the first time & Elder Hanks is really excited to help escort the new missionaries & give them the tour
    of the MTC.
7) He & his companion skyped with a member in Taiwan this past week. (to practice their Chinese I
    assume). They were having a discussion on church attendance when the member spoke a really "long
    Chinese sentence" of which Ammon understood the member to say that he did not go to church. They
    proceeded to give the member a discussion about the importance of church attendance.  Later, the
    teacher that was observing their conversation, let them know that the rest of the "long sentence" was that
    the church building was too far away for the member to attend church. Haha.. these poor Elders... telling
    the member to go to church when it's probably not possible for him to get there. Hopefully the member
    was understanding of these 2 young white Americans, learning Chinese, telling him about the importance
    of going to church!
8) Elder Hanks was able to carry on a 30 minute conversation with his Chinese teacher all IN Chinese &
    understood everything! He was even able to share some scriptures in Chinese. He was so excited !
9) He is learning through the life experiences of other missionaries that he is a very blessed missionary!
10) On his way to the Provo temple, he saw a protester on the corner of the MTC & the Provo temple. The
    protester was yelling at the missionaries & anyone else driving by ! Ammon felt sorry for the guys
    misunderstandings & for missing the truth. Good thing he had some experience with protesters at the
    Pageant to prepare him for things like this. Even in Singapore he may experience "protesters" who may  
    yell & even spit at the Missionaries for what we believe.

There's leaves falling behind me you say...?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weeks 3 & 4 - A Mad-lib letter & NerFridays

This is a summary of weeks 3 & 4 for Elder Hanks at the MTC -

I sent him a letter, (I wrote as if he were writing it, and then left blanks for him to fill in - such as "my favorite thing at the MTC has been ______" ) trying to get more details about what he does exactly at the MTC.

So.... here are some snippets from the letter:
"The food here is pretty good and my favorite meal has been tomato basil soup. My favorite thing at the MTC so far has been the gym!  I get up at 6:25am and do push ups. I have 2 hours of free (he wrote study)  time before lunch and 0 hours of free time before dinner.
On Sundays we have just sacrament meeting with a lot of time to study. We don't  have Sunday school and we do  have priesthood, the teachers are the branch presidency.
You asked how my Chinese is coming, it's coming pretty well. I can kind of teach a lesson on  Heavenly Father in Chinese.
I get 30 minutes of gym time everyday & I usually play volleyball or lift weights.
I get to go to the temple once a week.
Being district leader has been hard but also rewarding because of all the things it has taught me.
Right now I am studying the principles of Missionary Fundamentals and one of the goals we have as a district is  to be on time and to speak our language.
I am sleeping ok but feel like I never get enough sleep.  The best package you have sent me so far has been the nerf guns and halloween decorations. The bulletin board pins you sent me were freaking awesome!!  (I went to All A Dollar & found random toys & glued tack pins to them- the best one was a squishy sumo wrestler & a Superman ! ) 
One time I have really felt the Spirit here was when  I was listening to Elder Gifford Nelson when he said "This is our testimony that we give of Him.." That line is also used in the final scenes of the Hill Cumorah Pageant,  right before Christ appears. It was if I was right back at the true hill.
Well, this has been the  best  way to write a letter! Mom should write these for me more  often!

Week 4 update from a quick, short letter to his dad:
I feel good & strong in the language.
The MTC is great & so convenient.
The food is pretty dang good, actually!
I am restarting the BOM and I have already picked up on some great doctrine & principles I didn't see before.
The Spirit is always present.
I am working hard to be productive & the Lord is definitely helping me with that
I am exercising as much as I can (I don't want to gain a lot of weight)
My companion was made district leader yesterday!

One of these things is not like the others....! Hanging on a P-day



His Chinese teacher went to Davis High & knows Elder Hanks' older sister.
Yes they have matching ties & it looks like Elder Hanks has been to the MTC barber!

Elder Hanks & Elder Atkinson (friend from Davis High)