Tuesday, May 5, 2015

My first MLC in Singapore and we are ramping up!

May 3, 2015 
This past week my companion and I got to go to Singapore for our mission's missionary leadership council. It was such a spiritual experience and I loved being there with some of the greatest leaders in the mission including our mission president. I took away so much from that meeting and I now look forward to MLC every month. On the way back from Singapore we contacted some Mainland Chinese people in the line through immigration. We shared with them a little bit of what the church is about and they thought it was so cool. It was hard for me to understand them though,  because we would say to them,
(We know that this church is true. Are you willing to learn the polyphony (principles?)  can bless your family too – I had to google translate this &I dont think it’s quite  right! )

Then they were like, "哦!可以!没有问题。但是你们的教会是在中国里面哪里?
(Oh! You can! No problem. But your church is in China where there)   not in china?

So it was fun stuff anyway! But we are looking forward to sharing with our zone what we learned in MLC.

We are working with our investigators towards baptism and it's going really well for them right now. Our zone is building up in urgency and effectiveness because we have an awesome zone (haha, they all are really). We are so stoked to be part of this zone and we both feel like there's a great 'stirring' in the zone. It is a great feeling and we are going to wreck this next transfer! 

As my companion and I were preparing for zone meeting this past week we were studying in Preach My Gospel chapter 1 to look for a greater purpose to share with our zone missionaries. My companion helped make a great discovery from our study. On page 2 it speaks of how our understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ grows the greater we will feel the importance of making the gospel known to the world and all those we pass( I didn't quote it word for word, but close enough). As we were talking about it Elder Baer looked at me and said, "As you were reading that paragraph the last time a thought came to my mind. If we don't feel the importance of preaching the gospel, we don't understand the atonement." Isn't that a great insight!

We are off to our zone activity- Rugby in the rain! It's going to be insane! 
Love you all and I'm looking forward to Mother's Day skyping my family next week!

Elder Hanks

April 27, 2015 
I had to say good-bye to Miri this past week and it was a weird feeling that I have never had before leaving an area; I had a strong impression of fulfillment and satisfaction. I felt and know that leaving Miri I had done all that I could do to fulfill my purpose as a missionary there in that part of the vineyard. That was a great feeling. I do miss Miri and I hope to go back one day. 

I really do love Miri, and I'm really excited for Johor Bahru. It's in West Malaysia right on the border of Malaysia and Singapore. So whenever we go to Singapore it's by bus, no longer by plane. We will be going to Singapore, my new companion - Elder Bear and I, for our mission's MLC (mission leader conference). I'm really excited to serve the Lord and the mission as a zone leader and I already feel the great responsibility this calling has.  I know it will help inspire me to work harder than ever before.  With only about 5 months left there's nothing to lose!
 The branch here in Johor Bahru is great. It's also a small branch, but a branch of strong members. A lot of them have been to the temple and on missions so there is a powerful spirit when I am with them. I loved sacrament meeting with them as they all knew the importance of the sacrament meeting and..... well, I just love it! It's amazing! 

Elder Baer and I are getting down to the work as we were able to find some less actives that some people didn't know were in JB and teach other investigators that are on date for next month. Things are going great here in JB and I am very grateful for all the missionaries, members, investigators, and people that have been a part of my mission. 

I just want to give my deep gratitude and love to all the members and other people I met in Miri. I love you all and I will always remember you and you have changed my life.  (a few departing pictures from Miri) 
Love Elder Hanks

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