Friday, July 31, 2015

100 phone numbers and a baptism!

Elder Pearce, Elder Avery, Pres. & Sis. Simmons, Elder Lloyd 
This has been a great week and although it feels like a long, long week, a lot has happened. First was that President Simmons came for a visit to us in our apartment and we were happy to have him. For the other three elders it might have been their first time meeting him; mine was in Singapore last month at MLC. But we received great counsel from him and his wife. We all love them so much and they have a great love for all of us. Everyone is excited to have them. I even heard Sister Simmons went on exchanges with some sisters in East Malaysia and that included riding bikes and all - cool!!!!!

We were contacting a lot this past week and using our bikes more than before. I really have come to enjoy contacting. One miracle was we were about to finish contacting in an area because it was getting dark and on the way back Elder Lloyd (what a man)turned to me and said, "Elder, let's knock this one last house." We did and a younger boy saw us and called out to the mom or whoever, "There are white people outside!" (in Chinese of course). There was some rustling in the back when a mom came to the door followed by an older woman. The younger one asked, "Anything?" But then the older woman pushed her aside and said, "Hello Elders!" We were both stunned. We asked how she knew the elders and she said with a little chuckle, "I am a member!" This woman was a member from Singapore but had been in England for the past little while. While there, she could not find the church there and had been praying for a chance to find the elders, but never did; until now ! We found her in a friend's house in Malaysia! Crazy! She thought it was a miracle and was so happy to see us. She told us she would be going back soon. I told her my awesome brother was going to England for his mission and she got really excited. I exchanged with her my email and she is hoping to go back to England in a few months and find the younger Elder Hanks! Cool stuff.

We made a vision for us here in JB and it has really helped us be motivated and so part of our vision is to get 100 phone numbers in this transfer. We are stoked and like my awesome new companion always says, "LETS GO!!!!!" hahaa! We are loving JB! 

We are expecting a baptism this upcoming Friday and hopefully everything will go smoothly; that's the day we usually teach English class. Teaching is really something I like and helps me feel really good, engaged with the people and helpful.

The lesson crunch of the week was teaching an investigator for the last time before he goes to Ireland, about the temple. We felt we should talk about the Holy Ghost first and then the temple. It took us 2 lessons in two days, one right after the other ! (Friday night and then again on Saturday night) to more fully help them understand the blessing and magnitude of having a temple and what it means for our families. It was so cool and the Spirit was so strong. In fact we could all taste it and made me cry. It was the first time I have cried in a while, but the Spirit was really strong.

I discovered something about my purpose as a missionary and it happened as I was teaching the lesson I talked about above. The reason I came on a mission is because I want my family and all my spiritual brothers and sisters to live with me forever. I told my investigators we were teaching that we really loved them and wanted the best for them. Then I asked them, "One day us elders will go back to America and you might move away. We may never see each other again. But what if I gave you a choice of being with us for 2 years or eternity, what would you want?" As I asked that it seemed to bring the Spirit and it clicked in their heads the blessing of eternity.

It's been a great week. I love you all and I want to wish younger Elder Hanks the best in his final preparation for his mission. I'm sure you did great with your farewell talk yesterday! Can't wait to hear it! 

Elder Hanks

Ps... Return travel plans arrived today (friday 731/2015)  for Elder Hanks return...
Wednesday Oct 7th at 6:49pm!

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