Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First Letter from Uruguay 12 Apr 2010

Hola! Como andan? Todo Bien?
This is my first letter from Uruguay! I just finished emailing you so you should be sort of up to date. I have a little bit of time to write so... that's what I'm doing. It's my second P-day in the field. We played some "futbol" last time and volleyball, kind of. We use a soccer ball and we can only use our feet and head if ya want. It's pretty intense :) We also started a game where everyone lives up at one end of the cultural hall and one person kicks a soccer ball from the other end, and if they hit someone, they get to kick again :) If they miss, they go line up with the others! Sounds like fun, huh?!
Well I got a letter from Mom, April, the Birds and Macy today! So I'm feelin pretty loved :) plus all the emails were really cool!
In Mom's letter there was a bit about Dad's stones... How's that going? At least he hasn't had to have surgery yet. One Elder's Dad had some removed surgically awhile ago because they were just too big to pass. I'm gonna be praying too! The are answered! Most, if not all, of the lessons we've been giving thismpast week have a lot to do with prayer. I've never testified or even talked about prayer so much... and I definitely haven't prayed this much ever before, but it's needed, and it helps :) and prayers are answered, yo testifico!
So, the two big soccer teams here are Nacional and Penirol. I think I've decided to root for Nacional, their colors are red, white, and blue :) I'm sure Aunt Amy would root for them too! Which team are you all gonna root for?
Anyways...Oh, the boxes of Sugus are for April. They're her b-day present! But she can share if she wants to :) They're some of my favorite candies here, but they're pricey and I don't really have that much money. So don't expect something for everyone's b-day. I can't send packages through pouch system so it won't really happen often, but I have envelope so I thought I'd do it this time, with the camera card as well...
Anyhow, that's about all for now. I love it here for the most part. I'm learning the language, slowly but surely, I love the people, and I'm teaching the Gospel :) Love you all, hope everythings well :)

Love, Elder Michael Hancock

Monday, April 19, 2010

Email April 20, 2010

Well this week has been a fun week! We actually had McDonalds today! The week started off pretty nice, I went on my first divisions! Tuesday and Wednesday I went to Delta, and area about 45 min bus ride from my current area and I joined up with Elder Nelson, companion of our district leader who went to my area with Elder Roney. It was an interesting division, their area first of all is out by the campo (country) not like our area in the city, there was part that actually looked like a semi-tropical forest area... pretty cool. Another weird thing was that Elder Nelson is only in his 3rd change! and I´ve only been here for 2 weeks, so it was two jr companions together for 2 days! Pretty crazy! He has a larger vocab than me, but he´s still learning. I was actually complimented on my accent, an old lady couldn´t understand him, but could understand me! it was pretty neat! I didn´t think I was learning much HA HA! But we survived and did the best we could. It also was the start of some pretty intense rain storms! Luckily Elder Nelson had an extra jacket at their house. Also on divisions, I don´t know what it was, but it was like we got all of the toughest situations that day! like they planned it for divisions, we had good lessons, but we also had a woman try to return her book of mormon becuase here husband and children are all atheists and wanted nothing to do with it and won´t let us come by anymore, we had a woman who wanted to know how the Gospel could help her help her prostitute sister and drug addicted kids! We had another lady who just couldn´t grasp the picture, more of a factual person, we had one of their best investigators drop us over the phone, and none of our contacts actually let us teach them... it was a bit of a trying time, but it was a good experience for me, to just experience a different area, companion, style of teaching, and also helped me practice my Spanish, so it wasn´t all bad. And we got ice-cream :) The next day we had a pretty intense storm, I actually broke out mick´s coat, scarf, gloves, beenie, umbrella, the whole get-up! There were miniature rivers running down all the streets! Very fun to proselite in :) Still no baptisms, we have one man with a date, Alberto, he´s come to church the last two weeks and hopefully we can get him baptised and maybe some others the beginning of May! We also had a couple other tough days this last week. Some of those days where all of the appointments fall through and no one lets you in.... and a lot of walking! But each time, we always get at least one really good lesson in at the end of the day it seems, just goes to show if you keep working and don´t get discouraged, God always helps you out. I also got to share my experience of how I gained my testimony for the first time with an investigator, it was really neat and I hope I get to do it a lot more! And amazingly enough it was in Spanish! Ha!
So here´s the new mailing address! Don´t remember if I gave it to you already...
Agraciada 2893 #401
Montevideo, Uruguay 11.600
So the other night we had an FHE with some inactive members and we made pancakes for them and it was delicious!!! Reminded me of home, pancakes...... Delicious! And today we were gonna go to the zoo for P-day! but it was closed, so we went bowling, but I didn´t want to spend the money, so I watched and studdied, still had fun, walked through a mall... saw all the posters for new movies... fun stuff! Anyhow, I miss Doc´s Pizza, mostly root-beer actually! There´s no root-beer!!! When I come home you guys will have to buy me some root-beer :)
I actually don´t know how long the Montevideo temple has been here, awhile though. It´s really nice, smaller, but real nice! I can´t wait to here how the plays are, both of them! I love once on this island, how come they didn´t do that one when I went there? Anyways, tell Daniel to tell Mr. Smith and everyone that I´m wishing them good luck!! And congrats on your sprouts, seems like ariel´s working on the Garden too! Anyways, love to here from you! about all the fun things going on! But I gotta go for now! Be good! Love you tons! Chow!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Letter to Fam - 29 Mar 2010

Dear Fam!
So I just finished my emails home. So you should know by now about this camera card and the situation. This card has pictures from the airport 2 months ago! And so me 3 weeks in of some of the older groups of North Americans. And some pictures from 6 weeks in, with a video. And another video of one of our teachers, Hermano Zanzi, reading a list of quotes we kept that he said. And then another video I just made before sending it off. Also included in this letter is two copies of our group photo! I want you to look and tell me who has the best posture! :) I'm happy to hear about the new cousin! I didn't know that was coming up so fast! AWESOME!!! Not sure if I could handle letters in Spanish yet... I could probably understand it, but replying would take a long time which I don't have, so later on... ya :)
Proselyting has been an amazing blessing, and I'm actually really excited that I get to do it everyday! I had 30 contacts this last Saturday which was really cool. I also met the nicest old lady, made me smile so much! She told us that she had seen other missionaries and people pass by, but no one had actually talked to her until us and she just lit up, I couldn't believe how much I could love someone I'd only just met. She was so sweet and grateful, and I can't wait till I go back this Saturday. I don't know why, but God blessed me and my companion greatly this last Saturday. Everyone seemed like they wanted to hear, we actually ran out of stuff to hand out for the first time. I love feeling the Spirit here, and I've never realized how important this gospel is, till now.
Answering some of Dad's questions in his letter: I haven't needed water purifier cups at the MTC, but I've heard we get them in the field, and they work for about a year! There's actually a lot of stuff that's still in the suitcases upstairs I just haven't needed to use, but I can already tell you I will definitely need new garments when I get home :) And I haven't had to use the cup :) I got my Spanish set of scriptures when I got here and have actually marked them up a bit, hard to read in Spanish though. I'm gonna try to mark the Spanish ones less than my English pair. Kind of like the W. Cleon Skousen way, but I just need to understand them first :) but it's getting easier! I also loved those marquis quotes too, pretty funny.
It is interesting, those people who just want to argue, and how important the Spirit really is, He can only carry the message to the heart (corazon), but the people have to let it in. (2 Ne 33:1) My companion and I have worked on getting through those people faster and we've been blessed for it :)
Well, I'd better wrap this up, gotta go study and play some frisbee :) In short, I've been really blessed. I actually, the other night, read my first scripture during a practice lesson, in Spanish, but it didn't feel like a foreign language. I actually understood it all, it was really a cool experience.
It was Moses 5:6 in case you wanted to know :)
Anyways I love you guys and your "apoyo" para me! Thanks for all you do!
Elder Michael Hancock
(aka arana-hombre)

Letter to Mom & April, 29 Mar 2010

Dear Mommy & April (and everyone else :) but I'm responding to their letters)
Again, look forward to your letters. Yes I did get a letter from April a few days ago that she wrote March 2, and now this last letter I got from both you (Mom) and April, but there's no camera card in either... so ya, I don't know if it's just not come yet or what but I don't have it yet. They are keeping letters now till p-day, so even if it gets here sooner, I can't get it till Thursday, just so you know. Doesn't really matter much now anyways because I only have 1 Thursday left in the MTC! Crazy! I'm so ready to leave, yet I know I have so much more to learn. I think I just need the change. I can pretty much teach lessons 1-3, and parts of lesson 4, I can pretty much understand everything I read, but hearing it is a different story. If someone talks clearly, for the most part I can understand the point of what they're saying, and I can pretty much get my part across. I've definitely had help from the Lord and I must give him plenty of thanks. Without his help I'd be lost. I have so far to go still, but with trust and if I work hard, I'll get there. They say you learn a lot faster in the field, so that will definitely help.
I'd also like to say HAPPY B-DAY!!! last Saturday to Dad, and happy St. Patrick's Day. I haven't emailed yet today so I may repeat some of this stuff in the email. On Dad's b-day I was proselyting and I guess his present is to hear how blessed we were. It was a day of firsts while proselyting. First time we had a prayer with an investigator, first time we were invited inside to teach, and first time we actually taught lesson 3 (or at least part of it). It was really amazing, and we were really blessed. That was our 3rd t ime going to that same area, it changes this Saturday, but 1 of the investigators, Miguel, we had visited all 3 weeks and already both I and my companion felt love for this guy, it's amazing what love the gospel brings and how it can make you care for someone so much. It was really a good day. :)
I received a package from Amy and Trent today and loved it. Makes me so happy!
I love getting stuff, keeps my time going here. I'll love it in the field too, less than 2 weeks away, so get ready to start sending to the field.
I'm gonna stick some change in this envelope for the girls, just if they want to have some pesos. I hope it makes it alright :)
(It did!)
That's interesting about the earthquake, really neat that they were able to get the missionaries prepared. I hope it all turns out alright. Anyways, thanks again for the letters and the love, keep it comin :)
Hasta luego!
Elder Michael Hancock

Email April 12, 2010

I am getting settled just fine, Elder Roney is awesome! Right now I´m actually in the biggest part of the city, with the tallest buildings ect. Becuase this morning I actually had to go get a physical for Uruguay! They took my blood again, but I passed, after we got some Burger King to celebrate! Burger King! It was pretty sweet, anyhow I didn´t know we´d be seeing all the cool parts of the city today, so I don´t have my camera :( sorry. I´ll bring it next time and take more photos. We also saw the ashes of Artigas! He´s kind of like the George Washington of Uruguay.
I received 4 letters today! From you, April, The Birds, and Macy, so I´m pretty happy! I´m not sure how much time I´ll have to write letters though so I´m not sure when you´ll get more from me, I plan on sending the padded envelope back with the next card and something for April´s B-day, don´t everyone expect something for their B-day, I actually can´t even send packages through the pouch, only letters, so it´s expensive and I´m a poor boy! need my food! But I will email every P-day! Letters are harder to get written, we´ll see, I´ll try!
Our investigators are coming along, we have a lot of obstacles is the problem, no one´s ever home so some who could be progressing aren´t, we do have like 3 baptisms waiting for someone to move out of the house first, and some interested people we just need to help let go of the drogas! (drugs) But we try our hardest, I love visiting these people and sharing what I can in Spanish. I also had my first Sacrament meeting completely in Spanish and I actually loved it! It was fast sunday so they had their testimony meeting. I absolutely loved it and it just goes to show that the Spirit can speak to you no matter what the language. It was also a good reminder that we´re not alone out here. There are faithful members with strong testimonies and of course a Father in Heaven and our Savior..... never alone.
I did finish the crossword puzzel and the Jelly Beans were so good they´re actually gone now... I tried to pace myself and thought I actually did pretty good :) I did share though! Anyhow, I love hearing from you guys! I love being here! And I love the Gospel!

PS : Look up the song "Come See the Light" by Freddy Ashby and Jason Barney, It´s a really good song!
PSS : My house address is Carlos de la Vega 4739, next to the street Rodolfo Rincòn.

(We asked his house address so we could find him on our map of Uruguay)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Email from my new area

From: Michael Scott Hancock
Subject: Re: from Mom
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 17:31:10 -0300

It´s awesome here! I still can´t really understand everything people are saying, but I really like it here. We had a little bit of an adventure at the airport, our plane was actually delayed and then cancelled, luckily we were able to find another flight to get on several hours later, but we made it :) President Petersen and his Wife were at the airport waiting along with his two Assistant Elders. We got to go to the Mission home and had some delicious food with them. I also went to the temple, it´s a smaller temple, but very nice, I got a headset to listen to it in English :) Felt really good to go again, not sure when I´ll get to go next, but It was great. My companion is Elder Roney, he loves to ski, and other stuff too, he´s from Provo so that´s pretty cool. He can speak pretty well and understand pretty well too after 9 months, so it gives me some hope :) We got to our area, about 10-15 min. bus ride from the temple. Road in a taxi for the first time too :) We got to our small humble aboad, it´s not bad, I have some pictures I´ll send sometime. Got settled in just fine. And we got to work, he already has some families, he´s been in the same area for quite some time now so he knows where everything is pretty well. I´m trying to teach these lessons, it´s fun, but frustrating some times when I can´t understand, but I need the pacience, it´s coming, slowly but surely. It´s weird to be out when it´s dark, never got to do that at the MTC, kind of nice to get to be out all day instead of inside all the time. We got to watch conference in English, thank goodness, in a room in the back of the Church, our sessions were actually at 1pm and 5pm, we missed priesthood sadly because it started at 9pm. But I loved Conference, so much focus on the family, on parents, on the Book of Mormon, really really good. I haven´t finished the cross word yet, but hopefully i can finish it later today becuase those jelly beans really look good. It´s fun trying to maintain a balanced diet out here by the way, love my cereal :) The address for mailing is going to change soon, no one´s sure when, but I´ll get you the new address as soon as I can, also Mother´s day is at the end of this change I beleive, so look forward to a call on mother´s day, when it gets closer I´ll let you know a specific time. It´s definitely way different out here than in the MTC, a lot of responsibility is given, there´s no one to tell you how to behave ect. but I´m trying my best to study and do what I need. Smoking and drugs is probably the number one main problem I am seeing right now, the people are really nice, and we have a couple people ready to get baptised, they just need to quit their drugs. Anyways, I´ll get our actual house address for next time so I can let you know exactly where we are. Like I said before, my P-day is on Mondays, I get to email and write letters, I actually send the letters and receive letters on tuesday though at our district meeting. And I actually do need to send my letters in Envelopes, you guys don´t have to, but I do, just to let you know. So much has seemed to happen this week, but not much is coming to mind. We ride busses a lot, have to pick up some food about every 2-3 days, eating crackers and cereal and some fruits so far, but we get fed by some members some better stuff, lunch is actually the big meal here, not dinner. Mate is very popular, everyone is drinking it down here, uh.. everyone smokes... Lots of dogs still... We played a lot of soccer today for P-day with the zone, I´m not as bad as I thought, definitely not very good, but not bad, I made a goal or two Anyways, I hope your Easter was really good and fun, it was great here, will be even better when I get to eat some of those jelly beans, but it´s still been good :) I think next time I´ll be able to send a couple more photos with the email, still figuring everything out, learning how to budget my money too. Thanks for keeping in touch, I love you all! Be good!

On Mon, Apr 5, 2010 at 2:17 PM, wrote:
Elder Hancock,

Hooray! We got your email! You will be a good "first greenie" for your companion! That's great! It's like Elder Josh Petersen. He was out about 9 months and just got his first greenie.
Hope you had a good Easter and General conference sunday. Did you get to listen in English? Was it broadcast live? So were you listening at the same time we were, or was it time delayed?

I will keep this short and I am writing a letter to you right now. April wants to email you too before you get back on.

We did get your camera card! We loved the pics and the videos!!!!!!!! We will send the card back to you with a few pics of the fam on it that you can just delete after you look at them.

Can't wait to hear all about the house and area you are in. Going to go find you on the map right now!!!!

Love you tons!

Paso Malina

Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 09:31:40 -0300

Hey! I made it and I`m alive! I´m just reading the emails right now, I`ll reply fully later today. Just quick points, My area is in Montevideo, Cerro 17 is the ward, Paso Malina, if you`re looking on a map. My comp is Elder Roney, really cool guy, been out about 9 or 10 months, I´m his first greeny! I took some pics of the house and other stuff... Oh, and I got to go through the Montevideo Temple :) it was really cool, anyways, P-day is on Mondays, and I receive and send letters on Tuesdays. I did get the easter package, Thanks! Haven´t finished the puzzel yet, anyways, I´ll reply more later today, just wanted to let you know I made it :)


Dear Elder Hancock: Your going to like this funny story: This is the famous count down jar of your return home (don't get trunky. Each day the one who prays over the food gets to take out and eat one candy ball. We have been very methodical on maintaining this rhythm.... until Grandma Hancock showed up.... I was hurrying to get dressed and help her get some photos fixed. She was waiting at the table (eyeing this jar of candy)... When I came out, I was excited to tell her about our count down jar for Michael, I told her we have one candy for each day of your mission in the jar, she looked up slowly and sheepishly while bringing up four fingers to indicate how many she had ate out of the jar, while waiting for me and even then she had to recount, realizing she ate one of each color, so it was actually 5 candies she ate. Hence the note Alana wrote "Do'nt touch tell Thurs. Sorry Dad, Mom, Andra, and Daniel" Bwa Ha ha :)
Love Dad :)
P.S. we still love Grandma, she is so cute!!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

My MTC group & spanish instructor...

My missionary training group, where is Michael & who has the best posture?

The instructor is sharing some of his funny lines he has learned from american missionaries, so we posted a portion of it... :)
Michael is video taping him.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Update Images and video...

What a treat, finally we get some photos and video, Wahoo!!!
Please let us know of your visit, sign in, using comments or become a follower. :)

Random photos of Elder Hancock

I will go...

Moroni's promise.
Preaching the Gospel...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Harold B. Lee's Quote on America

I was thinking of Michael, obviously when I first heard about the earthquake in brazil, I was somewhat concerned not knowing geographically how far away he was, I saw this and thought it was worth the read. Scott

Words that give REAL hope in this changing nation.

Harold B. Lee's Quote on America

"Men may fail in this country, earthquakes may come, seas may heave
beyond their bounds, there may be great drought, disaster, and
hardship, but this nation, founded on principles laid down by men whom
God raised up, will never fail. This is the cradle of humanity, where
life on this earth began in the Garden of Eden. This is the place of
the new Jerusalem. This is the place that the Lord said is favored
above all other nations in all the world. This is the place where the
Savior will come to His temple. This is the favored land in all the
world. Yes, I repeat, men may fail, but this nation won't fail. I
have faith in America ; you and I must have faith in America , if we
understand the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are living
in a day when we must pay heed to these challenges.
I plead with you not to preach pessimism. Preach that this is the
greatest country in all the world. This is the favored land. This is
the land of our forefathers. It is the nation that will stand despite
whatever trials or crises it may yet have to pass through. ("Ye Are the Light of the World", pp. 350-51)