Saturday, February 27, 2010

Check it out...

Pretty cool,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

email February 25, 2010

Yay!!!! I´m happy you wrote me, i knew something was up. Funny thing about the greenies is that they all took spanish in high school and probably know as much as i do, yikes! but i am learning more and it´s making more and more sense each day. I´ve been able to handle it ok due to lots of prayer and optomism :) God is blessing me. Just need to press on! I´ve technically finished 1/24th of my mission! I´ve been out a month already! crazy! I´m pretty much used to everything now. It will be strange going out into the field though. The 7 hour proseliting was acually really fun! even though we i can´t really communicate, it was still fun. We were blessed, God really does put people in your path. We even gave away a Book of Mormon!! it was cool! I´m excited to go out again, even though i can´t speak or understand much, if i work as hard as i can, I know God will bless me! I do have a sweet tooth though, haven´t had candy for awhile, they have something called sugus that some of the elders have purchased while out, i may need to get some, they´re so good! I´ve seen several pouches, other elders have received some delicious goodies. They´ve been about a sheet of paper size the 8x11 sort of size, as long as it´s not a package, like a box, it´s fine :) We actually don´t take pictures here much, only every 3 weeks so i may not need to send home a card till in the field, or maybe the last several days here or so. Anyways, i love hearing from you, emails and letters are so fun, but i´m running out of time! so until next week, be good! I love you all so much!!! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Letter to Fam - 16 Feb 2010

I'm still alive! I'm replying to the letter Mom sent with the pictures from Amellia and Liberty, random, but fun to see! :) And also the letter I got from Dad, April, and Alana. I received Mom's a couple days ago and received the other one today (Thurs. Feb 16, 2010). I can't believe it's been 3 weeks. Well... I kind of can. This first 3 week period was hard, but they it goes by faster, especially these middle 3 weeks. So I'm not too worried. I am learning the language and still thankful for your prayers. I always feel like I'm not learning, but when I look back I see that I am. Elder Nielson is a good companion, he's from Idaho. We got 2 Latino roommates today. It was just us in our rooms for the first 3 weeks. The group of Americans that were here 9 weeks left a couple days ago and all the Latinos. The new Latinos arrived today along with the new group of North Americans. They seem pretty nice, and our district is no longer the "greenie" district. I'm glad to hear the reading and praying is going well. I've never prayed or read more scriptures ever! But I've never felt the Spirit so much either. The Spirit keeps helping us get through the days. We all struggle, we couldn't do this without help from above. I had one of the best Sundays I've ever had in my life, just this last one. I've felt the Spirit so much. I've never felt closer to the Savior ever before. There was sort of an underlying message about the Atonement throughout the entire day. Lessons on obedience and choice and on pride, and we watched a devotional by Elder Holland about the Atonement and it's importance to missionary work, and right after we watched "The Lamb of God" video. I was hit so hard, it was incredible. I felt like I knew the Savior so sell, and He knew me. I've been proseliting twice now, for 2 hours each, it's been interesting, good learning experiences. This last time we were teaching 2 younger teens and we felt like it was going really well, and we really wanted to give them a Book of Mormon, but they had to catch their bus. It was sad, but we learned we need to cut to the chase. Good experience though. This Saturday, we get to proselite for 7 hours! It's gonna be intense, but I'm sure it will be a good learning experience as well. I am short a garment top though, don't know how I left it, I'm doing fine without it, there's still a lot of things left in my luggage I probably won't use till I get in the field. So you can wait to send it. I've seen some envelope packages, but no boxes. I have had a sweet tooth though... Hint! Hint! :) Anyhow. We're only allowed to take pictures every 3 weeks. So I guess if you want to send another card, I'll fill up the one I have and send it back and after you get the pictures you can send it back and we'll just switch between the 2 cards... I think that will work best. Thanks for your stories. They really help. Thanks for the 17 points too, looks interesting. Tell April to not play so much X-box! Can't believe she's already finished with Kung-Fu Panda. Tell Alana I liked her picture. Tell Daniel congrats on Sweethearts, and I hope his play's going well. Still curious about Andra's "Boyfriend" too! And tell Lucky I miss him :) Same with Ariel & Mick. But I'm learning and I have fun most of the time:) ha! ha! It will get better though. I love you ALL SO MUCH! --Elder Michael Hancock

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Letter to Dad

On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:36 PM, Michael Hancock wrote: That is really interesting. (letter from dad below) I hope I can talk to the people out here better soon so I can help them, except they´re all Catholic down here, not Baptist... but oh well. I´ve been proseliting twice now, only for two hours each, but it´s crazy... can´t understand much, but that´s how it will be for a few months. I get to go every week for 7 hours from here on out though, starting this saturday. That´s gonna be even more crazy. I don´t see an email from mom this time so ... i´ll write a little more on this one. The mosquitos finally appeared out of no where, no problem with them at all until this last saturday, now they´re everywhere and i don´t like them! But oh well, proseliting last Saturday we saw a bunch of squished frogs on the street, a parrot, a buch of huge ugly looking dogs, and every once in awhile a cat. We almost gave away our first Book of Mormon... but the teens we were teaching had to catch their bus. We were disappointed, but we learned we need to cut to the chase faster. We´ll do better next time :) today the new group of North Americans and Latinos arrived, they seem like some nice people. Well.... keep writing me, i´ll end this one a little short, my bathroom use in general has changed a lot. We used to have our room all to ourself, my companion and I, but today we got 2 Latino roomates so i´ll let you know next week how that´s going. I´ll finish up with my Sunday experience, it was a good Valentines day. Basically I´ve never felt closer to my Savior ever before in my life. The whole sunday seemed to be based around the Savior and his Atonement and after some fabulous talks and videos I was hit big time, i can´t exactly describe the feeling, just a lot of clarity and peace.... i could picture him in my mind... it was amazing. I love those experiences i get here, i always look forward to sunday because it´s pretty much all in English, and it´s always so spiritual. I´ll finish now though, i´m glad to here you got my letter, seems they only take about a week, it´s pretty nice. I think of you guys a lot and am praying for you like you are for me, i really appreciate it. I love you all so much. Chow for now!

(This was the letter sent to him so you would understand the response)

Dear Elder Hancock

I really enjoyed your letter to the family with all the details of your schedule. Mom posted it to your blog. We hope that we got the spelling correct on the Spanish part. Well another little story one of a photographer friends of mine on facebook had a friend from the Micronesia Islands. (There's like a hundred different Islands in the area just above Australia) anyhow, he wanted to become my friends so I thought I would look at his his photos on this page and saw he was really into family and and the Gospel. He's 19 years old. He looks much older. We've had a lot of little petty conversations about the economy, how big the island is one (420 mi.²), how many sisters and brothers he has. He told me that he never had a dad growing up and so he wanted to know if I could be his adopted dad, all this after looking at my facebook page and seeing all of our family pictures etc. the only thing I told him was "I'm here". Later on I find out that he is studying to be a pasture, priest or evangelist, I'm not sure what they call them, in the Baptist church there. It has been interesting, our conversations have been, where he always talked about hell and damnation. I said I tend to not spend so much time on the Hell & damnation and work toward serving my fellow man and then Hell & damnation will be far from me. (He agreed.) Also I try to forget myself and turn my will over to the Lord and serve Him. (He said to hmmm) Anyway it is interesting. He's still going to school. I'm not sure of its college are just an extension of the 12th grade. He knows pretty good written English, but he gets a few words mixed up or doesn't use all the words. And once in awhile he slips in some Islands slang and I have to ask him what that is. Anyway we will see where the conversation takes us, I'm pretty sure he knows I'm a Mormon, I think because of all the pictures of the temple and my info
on my facebook page and all that latter-day Saint oriented pages I'm fans of. You are amazing! the Gospel and our church is true! Anyway this is getting too long you need to get to your e-mailing yourself.

Love Dad

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

First Letter to Family-Feb 11, 2010

Dear Fam,
Well today is P-day, technically my 3rd one if you count the day I arrived. This marks 2 weeks already of my mission. This letter is a reply to Mom's lovely Valentine's letter which I received 2 days ago, and to April's and Dad's letters which I received today (1 week, not bad). I haven't emailed you yet today so this letter may repeat some stuff I've already told you, or will tell you. I'm not exactly sure how mail works. We put our letters in the white box, but I don't know when exactly they send them out. I've written one letter already to the sisters of the house so hopefully they have received that one. Mom and Dad have some similar questions so I'll try to answer them all. As for April, congrats on being the last one awake on the emergency preparedness day. :) I'm doing ok with spanish. There are a few who have learned some in school and are getting it a little better, and then there are some who aren't grasping it at all... well a little bit. I feel like I don't get it, but when I think about it and look back I realize I'm understanding it more and I am learning some stuff. One of the teachers forced us to teach her lesson 1 in spanish without anything to look off of, and although very basically, it was amazing how much we knew and could teach, so it is coming, but I'm definitely grateful I have 7 more weeks. :) The food is really good actually. I get plenty of meat. Had steak already. Lots of spinach, but it's not bad. Had some cow tongue, and usually there's always something different, so we don't eat the same stuff over and over again. I'm not sure if you already know, but I was called as District leader and already it's proving to be an interesting challenge. I'm already having to deal with some missionaries who are just not grasping the picture, just having difficulties with reverence and pride, not sure how to deal with it, but I'm working with President George and some teachers. I need to break out and take charge I guess, not be too passive. We'll see how things go. I do know Stacy Earl and I'm excited for her and her decision. And I've most definitely been feeling the Savior's love for me. The blessing of having the Spirit with you every day if you allow is amazing. I don't know if I've felt it so much before. I've been taught so much already and my testimony grows more and more each day. I'm glad to hear Lucky is doing well and will survive. :) I think the candy ball thing is neat, when do I get to eat one? :) I finished all the gummy bears and Grandma's cookies already, and we do get ice cream every once and awhile. We've had soda a couple of times. And cake once for President George's Bday, but it's amazing how much I am craving candy, not sure why, and I can't chew my gum I brought, gum isn't allowed... Oh well... That's cool about the blog. I hoped something like that would happen, so thanks :) I actually got a letter from Macy today as well. I haven't read it yet, but it looks like it was sent through "Dear Elder", so that's pretty cool. I'm glad to hear the money thing is starting to work out. I pray pretty much every day to bless my family, and I'm so grateful to hear you're praying for me. I've felt your love somehow several times already here and am truly blessed. I've read through your testimonies quite a few times already too and I love it. My average schedule is as follows: 6:30 wake up, shower, prep, etc.. then 7:00 breakfast, 8 = personal study, 9=companion study, then we have class at 10 grammar and gospel stuff, at 11:15 we have lunch. Then more class 12:30-2:30, then "PAC" which is language study on our own for an hour, then physical activity at 3:30 till 4:30-ish, usually we play frisbee or soccer, sometimes other stuff. Then class again from 7:00-9:00, then a half hour of prep for the next day, then we get ready for bed, and get to sleep by 10:30... YAY! Exciting!? Lot's of class, but it's not really that bad. The exceptions of course are P-day where we have "prep-time" from lunch till dinner where we write some letters and email and whatever else we feel like we need to do. And Sundays are my favorite, No spanish! and it's a lot of meetings, but they're always good meetings and the Spirit's really strong. So there's a look at my day basically. I hope Daniel's schedule works out well, don't let him get too stressed, it's not fun. There's about 35 Elders here right now, and new ones come every 3 weeks and some leave every 3 weeks, pretty cool how small it is, the intimacy of it all. And another cool thing we do here is go proseliting! REAL PROSELITING! in the surrounding area. Even though we can't really speak spanish, we get to go out and teach. I've gone once already for 2 hours, this saturday will be another 2 hours, then every Saturday after it's 7 hours! It's a big eye opener but very good to get to know what I'm gonna be doing for the next 2 years. The 1st week was extremely slow! And very hard, this second week however has gone by faster, and has been a lot less stressful, just getting used to it. And I've been told by the 5 weekers and 8 weekers that the middle 3 weeks fly by the fastest, and the last 3 still are fast, but you feel like you learn the most these last few weeks. I love listening to the missionaries that have been here longer, gives me encouragement. Well this letter's long enough and I need to wrap it up til next time, plus in half an hour I'll be emailing you and might say some of this stuff again. Anyway, here's a little spanish, my testimony= yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera, yo se que Dios nos ama, y Jesucristo nos ama, yo testifico Jose Smith es un profeta de Dios, y el libro de Mormon es la parabla de Dios, Oigo estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo Amen. -Elder Hancock-

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Letter to April

Letter to April Hancock, from Elder Michael Hancock.

"Thanks for the letter. I got it on Saturday 6, Feb. 2010, so about a week and 2 days. I will want packages, that would be cool! I just finished All of grandma's cookies she let me take! Argentina is pretty nice. It's definitely warmer here... actually pretty Hot some days, even when it rains. The first week was really hard but I'm enjoying it more now and it's fun! Thanks again for the letter, keep sending more! -your bigger bro Michael-".

Letter to Andra


Good to hear from the fam. Letters seem like Christmas presents, it's so cool! I got this letter yesterday on Sabado 6th of Feb. 2010. So it took just under a week and a half. I tell ya the first week here was tough! Definitely a humbling week. I think I'm just barely understanding how Spanish works. It was neat to hear what was going on after you got home. I actually hadn't started missing Lucky yet until reading the letter. Treat him good. Currently it's Sunday, I love Sundays cause Spanish and everything's done in English :) I'm just sitting on the floor of my room, what could be a 6 person room, but my companion and I get it all to ourselves for now. The CCM, as called in Spanish, can hold up to about 80 missionaries, currently there are about 30-35 over half of them are Latinos, but that's ok. The Latinos leave every 3 weeks while us non-Spanish speakers are here 9 weeks. But I'm not complaining. The food here is actually really good. I eat the same cereals, but the milk does come from a pouch or box, still tastes good. I've had chicken-fried steak twice now, once w/ an egg on top, and BBQ steak once, that was good :)


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Email February 11, 2010

I´m trying to reply to everyone, but you get the bulk. The proselyting was a big eye opener. It made me realize how little Spanish i actually know, but it was a really good learning experience. The first week was really long and hard and so i was frustrated, but this second week has gone by a bit faster and i am realizing that i am learning more spanish than i thought, so when we go proselyting again this Saturday i´ll be able to say more. thanks for all the prayers and good vibes! I´m jealous, i won´t be able to go to the temple at all in the MTC so go extra for me. i think we´ll be able to go once a month or every two months in the field depending on the president, our mission actually gets a new president sometime in July, so who knows what will happen. i´m also district leader now... yay! and already it´s proving to be an interesting challenge, i have received several of your letters already and have replied, the one from the sisters, the valentines day one, and the one from april and dad, i sent the one to the sisters awhile ago and sent one to you dad and April today and it has more info on stuff so look for that. I hope daniel’s play goes well, i miss theater but don´t have much time to think about it so it´s ok. Macy also sent me a letter through Dear Missionary, but i don´t have here address so if you could let her know somehow through facebook or something, i could write here. I love the letters and usually have time to reply on p-day and usually sunday so know that. Thank you again for your prayers and look for my letters. thanks for the scripture too, I love you all.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Letter to Mom

Date: Thu, 04 Feb 2010 19:31:28 +0000

Wow, so i´ve alot to say but i only have 30 min. on the computer every thursday, that´s our p day, and i acctually only have 13 min. now because i spent the first half reading all the wonderful emails. i´ll try to answer as many questions as i can and you can forward it to everyone. I am on the verge of tears as i read all of these, they just make me so happy, especially since this last week has been one of the longest and hardest, yet most blesses weeks of my life. For the first time i´m actually excited to go to bed early, figure that one out, at the end of each day my brain hurts so bad, spanish is moi deficil (very difficult), there are times where i just hate the fact that i don´t know anything. the mtc here is very small, my companion is actually Elder Neilson, he´s a good guy, needs a little more motivation, but a good down to earth kind of guy. i think more than half this mtc is latinos, some know english pretty well, others don´t. all my teachers are latin and know english pretty well, but need help with a word here and there. I will be here about 9 weeks, so i´ll get out in the field probably end of march or beginning of April. The latinos that already know spanish go out every 3 weeks. new elders come in every 3 weeks so there´s the greenies, us, the 3 weekers now on week 4, and the 6 weekers now on week 7 who will leave in two more weeks. A few Americans in each. It´s cool to see the progression each group has, some of the elders in my district know a lot of spanish already that they´ve learned from school and it´s a little depressing to me some times. It´s the only thing that´s driving me crazy right now and it´s driving me very crazy, so please keep me in your prayers and ask God to help me learn this language, please. I ask it every night, but God already has helped me in many ways, but i have a long way to go, only 3 min. left so i´ll just say i love you all, i love the food here and the people. i´m sure i´ll learn spanish eventually, oh and i get to go proseliting this saturday! yikes!!! pray for me please. I know God is there and is strengthening my testimony daily, thank everyone for me for their wonderful emails, i´m sorry i don´t have more time, i love my family so much, until next thursday then, i must say goodbye.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Grand Parents

Byron & Colene Hancock, Me in the middle, Nola & Steve Snelson, Sunday, Jan. 24th 2010

Michael's Mission Call part 2

Finally he's going to let us know where he's going!!

Michael's trip to the Mailbox

Leaving on a jet plane...

(Sorry for the poor quality video its the only way we could get it all on. 15:34:25 time)

Several images and video clips (emotionally assembled by his dad), of our family trip to the Salt Lake Airport on seeing Michael off to the MTC (mission training center) in Argentina. Then after mastering the Spanish language and teaching methods etc., he will transfer to his assigned LDS mission "Montevideo West Mission" in Uruguay.
Michael's entourage, seeing him off.

Monday, February 1, 2010

(First email dated Jan 28, 2010 at 7:55 am)

Well... Here is the first letter or email, I guess. So as you can tell I survived the long travel. Found several other missionaries, all headed to Buenos Aires and then later on to Uruguay Montevideo West like me. 2 sisters and 9 elders all together. They are all really nice and eager to get moving, like me. I am at the MTC now, emailing of course. I just wanted the travel to end, I am so glad the traveling is all over. They keyboard is different, hence why I am not using any apostrophes. I exchanged some money.. ya... Oh, it is about 80 degrees down here, except it is Celsius so it is more like 20 degrees. I just saw the temple, and it is right across the street, bad news is it is under renovation so... we do not get to go... sad sad sad. The president and his wife seem really nice here though, had my first interview with him.. I think I passed... trying to understand people, but that will take a lot of work, I think I am the only one who did not take Spanish in high school... but most everyone else does not understand it is all good. Elder Mullen is my first companion at the MTC from what I understand so that is cool. All the luggage made it. My immunizations passed, I read the missionary handbook on the plane along with a few chapters of preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon, not sure if I really slept.. and I was right above the wing, and it was dark so I did not see much, but that is ok. Again it is hot, but I am in air conditioning. The humidity is fun too... It is actually a lot like New York except less smoggy. This letter is kind of rambly so forgive me on that, it is my first one. The MTC is pretty small... nice and cozy though. I am just really excited that the traveling is over. I started my journal on the plane. All and all I am just happy to be here now, wish the temple was open, and I am excited to get started. I hope everything is good there since yesterday... Cannot wait to get my first message back. Love you all, and the Church is true!!!