Friday, June 25, 2010

The Fort in Montevideo...

Video of my area...

Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 15:08:14 -0300

From: Michael Scott Hancock
Subject: Re: from Mom
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 15:08:14 -0300

Phew! It´s been quite a week for me too! I enjoyed the pics and the talk, sounds like it was a good experience. I hope everyone´s doing well.
Some fun things about my week, besides getting spit on like I told you before, I also had someone try to steal my money from my pockets, I just kind of pushed away and we booked it out of there, I also saw a bunny trying to make offspring with a cat at an investigators house, I saw a dog lying in the road that had pooped its guts out... literally! and at the baptism, Adrian got pooped on by a bird right before hand.... ya! It´s been a fun week :)
More about the baptism: It´s pretty much the best baptism I´ve had so far! ha! No really, Elder Roney and I first met Adrian at the Church several weeks back. He was going because his grilfriend is in the ward and he was also investigating a few different churches. We met him and were really excited to start teaching him. He´s 25 years old and a future priesthood holder! so ya! we were excited. We comenced teaching him at his girlfriend´s house. To make a long story short, he is the perfect example of someone truly prepared by the Lord... I was so lucky to be able to be a part of it. Really, us missionaries didn´t do anything, we just taught. He was willing and ready, by week 2 he had already read first and second Nephi! An investigator that actually reads more than we assign!!! WOW! He´s also been attending seminary. He´s a good kid with a good heart. I didn´t really fully realize how big and amazing this all was until last thursday night, when he had his baptismal interview with our district leader. I was just feeling good that night thinking, my first baptism! alright! We left the room while he had the interview and chatted in the hall, Elder Roney said he´s the best investigator he´s had so far. When he came out of the room, I caught a quick glimpse, I could have sworn his eyes were a little wet... At that moment I realized how important and amazing this was... It was that first time I´d really seen that with any investigator, I knew he had a testimony and he´s found what he was looking for, the Spirit was so strong and it felt so good to know another one of God´s children found his way... and I got to be a part of it. We did have his baptism Sunday, in the photos he´s the one center left, baptised by the bishop´s son (middle right), his girlfriend and her sister are in the photos, you´ll have to crop them a little bit, it was a Uruguyan that took the photos. And us missionaries! Right after the photos he discovered the bird poop, sad thing was that he was wearing Elder Roney´s shirt and my pants, only a little bit got on the pants, but he had to change the shirt, then we got the baptism on the way, he had to go down twice because his hair poked out a little bit, but the best part was after that everyone got a chance to bare testimonies, apparently they hadn´t done that for awhile. It was majorily youth who did it and I don´t think there was a dry eye by the end... it was truly powerful and truly amazing. Anyhow.. now I know why missionaries don´t get depressed out here getting doors slammed in their faces all the time... because even just one baptism like that, makes it all worthwhile... I´m so grateful for this opportunity to serve.
Anyhow, that´s the big stuff so far. Glad to hear you got the tile all put in and you figured out about the termite problem... fun fun! Keep writing! Have a great last week of school and stuff! Got a couple B-days coming up! Ha Ha! hopefully I´ll get the letter tomorrow, and I sent my camera card home last week so hopefully you get that soon too! Love you all and I´ll talk to ya later! thanks for the pics!

From: Michael Scott Hancock
Subject: Re: from Mom
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 15:24:20 -0300

We actually spend a lot of time, even more so recently with less active members and we keep finding more and more just door knocking. We´re trying to get them to the church, but it´s just been really slow the last couple weeks. We finally got our confirmation done yesterday. He´s now officially a member! Wahoo! It felt good.
Sounds like some fun weather, finally looking like summer. Here it´s gotten cooler... but it´s still pretty on and off. We´ve had some chilly nights and stuff.. but nothing really bad yet.
So other things for this week. I actually saw Spiderman..... no joke! I saw Spiderman in Uruguay! and if I would have had 100 pesos on me at the time, I could have gotten my picture taken with him, I was so sad I didn´t! But it was pretty much the coolest thing I´ve seen this week! I´m still going up in weight apparently, last time I checked I was about 172 lbs. I don´t feel like I´m putting it on... but oh well. In Spanish I´ve read up to Jacob 3 in the BOM, and in English I´m at 2 Ne 15.... ya, love reading! I went on divisions for the second time, this time I stayed in my area, so I got to lead the way, it was great! I went with Elder Empy, he´s in his third change, just one above me, so it was pretty intense. It actually started a little rocky, heading toward the house after changing companions, I realized Elder Roney didn´t give me the keys to the house.. so we knocked on the door of the Hermana we rent from... but she wasn´t home! So we walked with all our stuff to our lunch... turns out they forgot about it.. and so we ended up walking back, the Hermana was home by this time and so we were able to get a spare set of keys and get it... then we made some egg sandwhiches.. then I realized we left the gate open and we had to go track down the Hermana´s dog, found him, and brought him back. It was turning out to be a pretty good division. Then we started the work and it actually went pretty well.. we ended the day with only 1 lesson with a member, but it was really cool, we talked about a bunch of stuff and taught about the priesthood and I had my line of priesthood athourity that I showed.. and it was all in Spanish of course... pretty sweet! We had 2 other lessons, found a less active member and one other new investigator.. and knocked abunch of doors... not bad for 2 juniors :) Ended the day eating some jello! alright!
Other that that it´s been a pretty average week, working hard... We actually have run into a few suicide situations this week. A nephew of one of the members, just living down the street from us, he cut his throat one night and died... something about his girlfriend leaving him and taking his daughter... not sure exactly. Then the girlfriend of one of our investigators ate rat poison because she didn´t like the way he was treating his brother or something like that. And one day, while we were contacting, we knocked a guys door, had a regular contact, but he was about to leave so we couldn´t really talk. As we turned to walk away, there was a lady right there! Like in the movies right infront of our faces when we turned, she just looked at us and said, ¿Qual es mejor, la vida o la muerte? What is better, life or death? And then she just said a bunch of other stuff like ´Where´s your God?´ He doesn´t care... He took away my husband and my kids... He doesn´t exist.. ect. Then she showed us a rope in her hand and told us she was going to go hang herself and was asking us if God would accept her... We tried to talk with her and my comp was pulling out some scriptures to try and share with her, but she didn´t want to listen, she just kept telling us that she was going to kill herself and told us to pray for her... just then the guy that we tried to contact earlier came out and told us I´ll probably go to your church this week and then got in his car and drove away, when we turned back to talk to the woman, she had already left... It really just kind of left me with a sick feeling... was there something more I could have done or said to try and help her... I probably won´t ever know... I prayed for her a lot that day... and for a lot of other people... I´ve tried to focuss my praying more on other people recently... especially those who are struggling the most... it´s really hard when you can´t really do much more to help some people... they just have to make the decisions for themselves... and I´ve just thought a lot about all these suicides and how fragile this life is... how hard it is for people.... but you know... it´s always gonna be hard... there are two paths in this life, you can choose the hard path or the even harder path, becuase salvation isn´t cheap... cost the best blood ever... it wasn´t easy for him.. so why should it be for anyone else... that´s why the message is so important.. to give everyone hope... hope for the better and to give them support in these trials... you choose your attitude... your trials can bring you closer to God.. or they can destroy you.... it´s the choice everyone makes every day.... it´s just sad when they make the wrong one... anyway.. those are just some of the thoughts of this week. Pretty crazy.
I hope everything is just going well there! It sounds like the summer is starting off pretty well :) Keep up the good work, keep reading and praying! and keep me informed! I love you all!!!!

Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 16:29:33 -0300

From: Michael Scott Hancock
Subject: Re: from Mom

WAHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I got the letter from you with the card tuesday!!!! finally!!! I don´t know why it took so long, got a letter from Macy too! So I´m content now! Missionaries really do live on letters! My camera couldn´t read the pics though.... actually! on this computer I´m using right now It read two of them. . . huh. Anyways, ya that´s the right address! Elder Roney has gotten a bunch of letters recently because of his birthday, but he tells me he´s had dry spells without letters, his sister is actually leaving for her mission this Wednesday! for Guatemala! She´ll get back from her mission over a month before I do! Loco!
We haven´t met the new pres yet, he gets here the first of July, we have our last zone conference with Pres Petersen this week, and then the one after will be with the new pres.
It was just some random guy trying to make some money taking photos with SpiderMan, I haven´t seen him since :( But I have attached a couple photos to this email! The first is us having some lunch with a member! Maria! she´s the one in the middle, her friend is on the side! She actually started smoking while we were there! We were just kind of shocked! It´s quite a punch in the gut when converts start reverting back to old ways. But we´ve been talking with her. There´s a picture of me holding a goats head..... ya.... don´t really know how to explain that one... it was just in the middle of the road one day along with some of its hooves and a bag of chicken heads and feet! Exciting!!! Things like this just aren´t that wierd anymore though... Uruguay is just a wierd place! Then we took some pictures on some giant chairs that are out in the front of another mall, it actually used to be a prison that the current president of Uruguay escaped from when he was younger.... ya! I used my debit card for the second time today by the way, I try not to use it, but I decided to get an official Uruguay World Cup jersey before the World Cup is over :) Are you watching by the way! It´s everywhere down here!!! It´s all everyone talks about! Especially when Uruguay plays! We could not get in anywhere and the city was a ghost town when Uruguay played!!! They go crazy for soccer down here!
You´ll have to get Daniel to send me some pics!!! And tell him I saw Spiderman too! ha!
Alfahores! That´s what they´re called. I´ve heard there are some Mexican stores down there, some in Provo, that you can get some and other stuff. Alfahores are so good though!!! Glad you liked the pics! The blister was a pain! it was huge! and I´ve had about 5 others that were basically apendages of the same one... it´s all good now, but it was no fun when I had them.
The one lady that ate the rat poison is fine, we saw here at the member´s house the other day, but I think she has mental problems naturally... so I don´t really know all that was going on, but she´s good now. It is sad though.... we teach that pretty much every day, I think the question we get more than any other, by a long shot, is "Why do bad things happen?" or some form of that question.... it´s actually not the funnest to answer, because we really don´t know all the reasons.... but the people need to just realize they´re not the only ones who suffer... everyone has their problems.
I´m glad to hear the scriptures are going well! make sure you start it with a prayer! that´s one thing I´ve learned, if you ask to find something new before hand, you always do! I´ve never loved studdying the scrips more! I´ve been studdying the Atonement and testimonies recently in my personal study, and I´m actually gonna send you some references in the future with a fun FHE idea... We´ve also been listening to a buch of talks for some of our companion study time! I had an experience with one the other day, we were listening to a talk about teaching with the Spirit and listening to the Spirit.. at one point the speaker said "you know how sometimes you start crying while reading the scriptures...?... that´s the Spirit talking to you." I´ve always known that... but I´ve never really heard it so bluntly and thought about it... especially here in the mission I´ve never been so focussed on trying to feel the Spirit and always wondering on if I´m actually feeling it... but I do get watery eyed quite often while reading the scrips... it just hit me... then he said "Every time that happens you should imediately get on your knees and thank God for that opportunity." I´d never really done that before! I felt something right then so I decided to do what he said almost hesitantly at first, but I knelt down right there in the kitchen and began to pray thanking God for that opportunity.. and imediately I felt the greatest feeling come over me... my head was all warm.. and I just felt good... cried a little more... I just knew God was saying... it is the Spirit, you do feel it... awesome experience... I seem to get a few experiences like that everyonce and awhile out here.. it´s really a great opportunity... it´s stupid sometimes, and it´s not easy! not at all out here! but I´ve never felt closer to God... and that´s probably why... because it´s difficult. Anyways... I also heard in a talk from Elder Bednar, you don´t need to worry about if it´s the Spirit or your own feelings, just be good and do what your supposed to and you´ll know.
Anyways, that´s long enough for now... keep up the reading and everything! Send me more pics :) and keep writin!
Love ya all tons!!! Talk to ya later!

Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Sounds like quite the party! To be completely honest, I forgot all about Father´s Day... Hard to keep track! But it sounds like ya got a lot of cool things! M&M´s are actually really expensive down here! I haven´t gotten any. We actually just got the conference ensign for April... but it´s in Spanish, so I´m reading the priesthood session in Spanish, pretty good so far! :) I´ve used my oil container a couple times, we´ve given a few blessings, some blessings of comfort and I gave my second blessing of healing in Spanish this last Sunday, It really feels good to be able to use your priesthood power, and after reading Elder Oak´s priesthood session talk, it takes some off the preassure off on trying to say the blessing perfect in Spanish, :) The waffle thing sounds really cool.. and the party at the Vallejos sounds like it was quite the bash too! That big of a house huh?.... wow... cool! It would be tough to have Father´s day this soon after the funeral and all.... but ya know... I´m pretty sure he was with you all for some part of the day :)
Talk to ya later! Glad all is well! Vamos arriba Uruguay!!!

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 15:29:56 -0300

From: Michael Scott Hancock
Subject: Re: from Mom

Well to start off....Dad should be proud of me, I just shot my first wedding today :) ha ha! One of our investigators, I really think she´s gonna get baptised, got married today! So ya, for P-day, I went to my first Guayan wedding!.... it consisted of waiting in a hallway while they signed papers and then going into a small room with everyone and watching them sign more papers, listen to a guy talk, and put rings on eachother´s fingers! YAY! And they needed someone to take photos, and since for some reason Uruguayans can´t take photos that well, I did it :) I got a few on my camera too so you´ll get to see those! It was pretty neet, pretty fun. IT was down town where all the larger buildings are and stuff so I took some pictures of that too. And ya! Uruguay is in the Cup baby!!! They tied France 0-0, then they won South Africa 3-0, and just now they won Mexico 1-0!!! It was really funny, we watched it in a mall down here while we ate and everyone was in the food courts sitting in front of the TV watching, I mean everyone! It was awesome! Pretty neat that they made it, and if the US wins the next one, and possibly even if they tie, they can make it in! so ya.. pretty cool :)
Anyhow... we got our changes last night! Surprise surprise, I´m staying in my area again! But I´m changing companions, Elder Roney is heading up north to Rivera and he´s gonna be comps with my MTC comp! I´m staying here and my new comp´s name is Elder Lockheart. I´ve never met him, but I hear he´s pretty cool and close to the end of his mission. So there it is, 6 weeks more in Cerro baby!
I don´t know if it´s better box or not, I just know everyone who´s done it in boxes hasn´t had problems, Elder Roney´s always gotten his stuff just fine... so we´ll see.
So this party at the Vallejo´s (which I actually get how to pronounce, and actually has a different pronunciation in castellano) sounds like it was really fun! and this house sounds pretty intense! Speaking of old ward members, do you remember the Tippets family? I think they lived in our ward forever ago, there´s an Elder Tippets here in the mission and I think he was in my primary class forever ago, I didn´t get to ask him, but I believe it´s him. Anyhow.. pretty small world I guess.
I actually miss the mountains.... and hiking in them.. I do plenty of hiking in the streets everyday! but I miss the mountains, I see them everytime I look at the family photo! And I´ll tell you what, it was pretty cold down here this morning, I´m sleeping with my beany and a scarf, we do have a little portable heater, but it costs a lot to run it so it´s usually only on for about an hour in the morning while we study, it´s actually pretty nice right now, but still pretty cool.. I think last night it was like 10 degrees celcius... yup! But I´m keeping warm enough!
We made burritos the other day... took some pics and a little video of that... pretty fun, and since Elder Roney is leaving the area, we visted abunch of people the other day and took more photos, so ya, some more good photos to come. Right now we´re teaching a really cool family! I believe they´re gonna get baptised no problem, we´ve had only 3 lessons with them, but they love everything we say, they agree, they actually read what we leave them, they actually took 2 pages of notes on their own and looked up words in the dictionary! It´s a missionaries dream!!! I´m really looking forward to working with them more and hopefully getting them in the water :) Just proof that God really does prepare people, you just have to get out there and find them :) I pretty much get to feel the Spirit all the time, learning a bunch of stuff and loving it! My Spanish still has a long way to go, but it´s getting better all the time! We had our last zone conference with Pres. and Sister Petersen! It was really good, we´re gonna miss them, but we´ve only heard good things about the new Pres. and Sister Heaton, so we´re excited to work with them, they´ll get here the 1st of July! Anyhow... that´s about it for now...I have a bunch of scriptures that would be fun to read for a Noche de hogar (Family home evening), I´ll send them next week! Anyhow, I hope you´re all still reading, and praying and everything else! I tell you, we had 0 investigators come to church this last week and it´s pretty sad... Make sure you go to church no matter what, it´s where the Lord wants you to be! Keep writing me! Keep me informed of everything! and be good!
Les quiero muchos! Chow!

On Sun, Jun 20, 2010 at 10:58 PM, wrote:
Hola! Elder Hancock,

So we sent off a package to you! This time we sent it in a box. The postal guys didn't think it would make a difference whether
it was sent in a pouch or a box. They said, they would open it and take it if they wanted to whether it was in a box or not.
I stuck crosses on it, but I don't know that makes a difference either. I sent another alarm clock with batteries. We'll see if you get
this one. Then a few other fun things. You will have to let me know what you actually get. I did put an envelope inside with some pictures
you had wanted of yourself. There is a letter from April & Andra in it too and your camera card. Hopefully you get it.

We were invited to the Vallejo's new home for a Hawaiin Luau last night. They have an amazing home. Kids got to go swimming
in their pool, they had the full hawaiin entertainment. Singers, dancers, fire eaters.... They had the roasted pig and everything. It was fun,
they had invited all the 3rd ward plus people who used to be in the 3rd ward. Fun seeing everyone.

I went with dad earlier that day to Brighton Ski Resort. He was taking pictures for a 50th anniversary... family photos. The dad of the family
is one of the sealers in the Timpanogos Temple that we would see Wednesday mornings when we do sealings. It is a really pretty canyon and
we decided we needed to go up and do some hikes up that canyon!

I actually went a night hike with Mick, Ariel, April and Alana to Scout Falls. I didn't go the whole way... there was still a glacier blocking the way....
plus I need to work out more! It wore me out. But it was fun.

My lesson for Young Womens today was on personal revelation. Good stuff! A brought a radio to class and talked about how we need
to "tune in" to the Holy Ghost. Then the volume was way down, and we talked about how we needed to be "Close" to the Holy Ghost.
What an amazing gift we are given! If we just try to live the best we can, we can receive guidance and inspiration anytime!

We watched the US vs Slovakia soccer game. How is Uruguay doing? I haven't been able to see any of their games.

Have a great week! You probably won't get the package for at least another week, but watch for it soon! :)

I love to hear from you and all that you are doing! Love you tons!!!!!