Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We do the Haka in Singapore too! Last Zone Conference with the Mains...

This past week we went to Singapore for our zone conference so sorry for my ridiculously short responses to all your emails last week. But I will make it up to you today... hopefully... !

Singapore was a great experience for my companion and I this week!  We enjoyed our P-day in Singapore. We went to the top of the Sands which is the amazing boat hotel in Singapore. It was such a cool view of all of Singapore and we enjoy being in such an amazing foreign land. I was having some sinus or allergy problems so I got me some nice looking shades to hide my read eyes and fake tears! haha !  I got some pretty funny comments during zone conference though. While some missionaries,  including President and Sister Mains, were speaking my eyes were all watering up, not from crying though. That's not what everyone else thought- As I looked around to make sure no one was looking at me or, to at least check to see if there were other people 'crying' - some people would catch a glimpse of me and mouth to me, "Are you okay?" I would try and explain that I'm okay, but let's just say that I got plenty of people asking, "Elder Hanks, how are things? Everything okay?" Haha ! Funny and embarrassing! Hope it goes away soon! 

Our zone for the past few weeks has been putting together a presentation for our mission president and his wife (this being their last Zone Conference before they leave back home)-  that being the Hakka. For the past few weeks we have been practicing the words and the dance and it was all building up to Tuesday's zone conference. Everyone was outside taking a zone conference picture when two of our zone members, one native to New Zealand and the other of Polynesian background, called out the Hakka cry. You could basically say, "JB zone ASSEMBLE!" It was a great and  President and Sister mains really loved it- In fact, I think everyone loved it. 

Thanks for the great stories about my Great Grandpa Murri! I totally guessed it was my ancestor (by luck) & so did the other missionaries in my group. They all said "this has Elder Hanks written all over it!" So thanks for sending that! 

Zone conference and MLC were great spiritual builders. We talked a lot about the doctrine of Christ as taught in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31. The Spirit was very strong and to see our mission president give his testimony to us was just another realization that time is short. I have come to re-realize the importance of opening my mouth and do as the apostle M. Russell Ballard taught us a few weeks ago,  via a video to us missionaries in the Singapore mission, "to tell someone about it."
Another training we received recently in MLC was about the gift of tongues. It's not about studying the language every minute of every day. It's not about stressing every night over the mission language, it's about loving the people and those you serve. It was a great lesson to learn even for me who is a 'veteran' missionary. I can always try and improve in the gift of tongues -  loving the people who I am with.

I love my mission and my companion. He is great and with him at my side, I am going to try and make the most of all I can get with him because I can learn a lot from him. I love the words that my dad shared with me in this week's email. He invited me to not worry too much about going home and doing my best to focus on the mission. Especially now, where I have come to know time and time again the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, it seems silly to think about anything else than to share the Book of Mormon with others. 

Short story of the week. We went out to a super far part of our area. While there we were struggling to find a way back to our home because it was getting late and the buses had stopped running in that part of town. While waiting on Elder Baer to call a taxi  a man was just standing there waiting for his own taxi. I talked to him and engaged in conversation. As we talked, we got around to what I was doing in Malaysia. I shared with him our purpose and the Book of Mormon. This man was Hindu, but his wife was Christian. When he heard that it was another Testament of Jesus Christ he was excited and really wanted to share it with his wife. He gave me his information and took the Book. What a cool and great experience to be able to share that with him. 

Also, one more story sorry!  It was a good week of sharing the gospel! While on exchanges this week Elder Pierce and I were waiting for a taxi(again I know) and while we were standing there I saw an elderly man looking at us. I approached him and told him who I was, he told me he was also Christian from Sarawak. He then, before I could say anything to him, expressed a concern he had about Christianity. He said (in Chinese), "You know, the problem with churches today is that they are not all perfect. In the Bible it speaks of John who says that although he is baptizing by water there will be another who baptized later by fire." I was blown away.... I looked at him and said, "Well, in our church, the Church of Jesus Christ, we baptize by water and by fire, or the Holy Ghost." He looked shocked. He asked me, "Really?" I said, "Really." I told him that I knew he was a genuine seeker of the truth and, "You just found the truth." He asked, "I found it?" "You found it." "I found it?" "You found it." He was blown away. We exchanged information and his information was sent to the Sarawak missionaries. So cool.

Anyways. Today was a lot of stories but hope you enjoy!
 Love, Elder Hanks

Look! I found Elder Gara at Zone Conference in Singapore! Yea! Doesn't
he look great as a missionary! 

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