Monday, August 30, 2010

August 30, 2010

Oh this has been a nice week! First of all, the Barrio that I´m in is called La Pedrera, on the street Luis Segui 2342, it´s on the corner of another street... can´t remember exactly what it´s called but part of it is Rosa. I don´t need anything desperately, well...I actually could use some socks, I´m not sure what happend, but mine are all rancid and I can´t get rid of the smell. I´ll send my camera card back when I get yours, it has some fun pics.
I can´t believe it´s school time again, that was the fastest summer (winter here) ever! Crazy how time goes by. Oh fun fact: President Eyring´s niece is now serving in our mission! How cool is that?!
God really does bless you for your efforts! You already know my last week was not so great, so we started off this last week with an area conference with our area pres, Pres. Arnold.... It was really amazing, talking about things we need to do new like kneeling in all our lessons, using silence and a whole bunch of other stuff. I also went on divisions again with Elder Rubio from Peru! He´s in his first change! but he already knows Spanish. He has a lot of energy too, we were walking fast, and he talks so fast, but we actually really had a lot of fun and I loved working with him. Anyhow, we shifted gears and worked hard, applying all the things we learned this last week and it paid off. I felt so good and happy this last week. And to top it off we have a baptism this Saturday!!!! :) :) :) Jessica! 17 year old girl with a 1 and a half year old son, she was living with a boyfriend, but with some help from the Spirit, and maybe a little from us... she made the decision to split up and be baptised!!! It was really a great experience! God does want you to be happy and is there for everyone!
That´s pretty much the biggest news! I´m actually back in Montevideo right now signing papers for residence with my original MTC group, it´s really cool to see them all again! But the 6 hour bus ride I could live without!
To finish up! I can´t encourage you enough to read! I love it so much and it will bless you if you really think about it and study it out and apply it! I just finished John and I´m in Acts 6, and In the Book of Mormon I´m reading about Christ´s coming! I love it all!
Thanks so much for the support and love! I love you all so much and I realize it more everyday as I become more an more familiar with the Gospel! Chau!

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 23, 2010

Thanks for the tid-bits from Elder Shurtluff´s talk. It really is great. I´m really excited for him, for anyone that gets the chance to embark on this crazy journey :) serving the Lord! I actually read that talk not too long ago about the choosing missionaries experience, I really liked it. We actually read the Ensigns, here called Liahonas, evceryonce and awhile and I enjoy it. I really liked that scripture too! It´s really a good one, there´s one kind of like that in Jeremiah, but I think I like this one better! Thanks for sharing that too! And ya, 12 weeks would have driven me crazy! It was just being inside for so long!
I know an Elder from Park City!
That photo is the line between Uruguay and Brazil :) The Brazilian flag!
Anyhow, to make this short... This last week has actually been one of the most humbling and lesson learning weeks of my mission. I consider myself pretty obedient, doing my exercises, waking up and going to bed on time, always trying to read the scrips.... but I am so far from where I should be and I´ve never prayed more to have more faith and confidence before in my life. The week started out with divisions. My comp had to go to a training thing, the same thing Elder Peterson had to go to I´m pretty sure. So I was on divisions with Elder Lenthan. From the U.S. and that´s an example of a hard working missionary. Not perfect, none of us are, but in the theme of teaching well and working hard... he was a great example for me and it was really humbling to work with him. We worked a day and a half in his area in Tranqueras, about an hour away from Rivera. And then the next day and a half we worked in my area. It was really quite a wake up call... Elder Cespedes is a great guy, a fun comp... but he´s already trunky, talks about girls a lot, and likes to take his time, I don´t want to judge, it´s not my place... but just to see how I should be... it was really humbling... we got to help a member fix a shed that blew down, blistered my hands a little bit.. guess I just need to work more with them. And then I got us lost in my area trying to find lunch... and it just happened to be pooring! We didn´t have umbrellas or jackets and we were soaked to the bone! We ended up finding the house though in the end... but I admire him for his patience.. I probably would have punched myself.
One other quick experience... humbling as well. We had a lesson with a girl, Carmen, she´s a young mom of 3 kids. We´ve been teaching here for a little bit, and this last week we studdied a bit about the Holy Ghost, listening and fallowing, and just feeling the Spirit testify... During the lesson with Carmen, she broke down in the middle, just telling us all her feelings and everything that´s happened and how we were born in the Church but she wasn´t and she´s always tried to be good.... just everything through some tears.... I felt the impression to testify.... but unfortunately... I´m not even sure why... I kept my mouth shut... I don´t know if I just didn´t know what to say... I hesitated.. I haven´t felt that much guilt for such a long time. Still even now, I feel if i´d have testified, she would have come to church and even felt the Spirit really powerfully.... I really was upset with myself afterwards, and that night I said one of the longest prayers in a long time, asking God to forgive me for not following the Spirit´s impressions... I feel really bad and I´m sure it was my lesson to be learned. I never want to miss an opportunity like that again.
All in all.... I´m actually really grateful for this last week... it was really tough and really long. But I learned so much and I´m inspired to do better. Sometimes to experience the sweet.. we first have to experience the bitter... I know without a doubt that God wants me to be better and knows I can. I know I can. So this next week I´m gonna have to get to work. God´s teaching me lessons.
I´m glad you´re doing well, and I hope all continues well. Thanks for everything, the love and support.
Love you tons! Elder Hancock.

August 16, 2010

FA! Can´t believe school is starting up again, sooooo soon! That´s crazy, where does the time go!? It´s flying here too! Our week this week, not gonna lie, was really not all that great. Right now we only have a few investigators, and this last week we knocked so many doors trying to find new people but we got nothing! It was really sad! People can be really stubborn sometimes! They just don´t want to talk or change what churuch they´re going to.... it´s really just.... I don´t know... sad. It was also a really cold week with rain.... and sunday, yesterday... We had nobody in church, us, and the other pair of missionaries! NO ONE! We were all just kind of down that day... but, like always, God has a funny way of making you feel better whenever your down, last night before bed, about 10:15, Elder Lockheart called from Cerro to tell me that Jennifer is getting baptised this Saturday!!! I nearly jumped out of my seat I was so happy! I´m sad I won´t be able to be there for it, I had the privelege to find her with Elder Roney and teach her and prepare her for a few months and get to know here, and now....she´s getting BAPTISED!!!!!!! YAY!!!! She´s written me a letter and Elder Lockheart is going to send me some baptism pics! It´s really one of the greatest feelings! A good note to end on in a not so great week. God cares about all of us and always wants us to be happy... even with a phone call. We do though have a few good investigators, just need to get them to start taking these steps of faith.
I played soccer the other day with a bunch of guys in the area! I was the only gringo! and probably the worst player there! They were all really good, the kind of guys that play everyday, ages 16 to 60, I actually was the goal keeper for one of the games and got a nice ball to the face from a few feet away, my face actually went numb afterwards so I thought I was all good! But then I tasted some blood in my mouth... and then a lot more! Then everyone stopped playing, apparently my nose was gushing out blood! I´d wished I had my camera, my face was all muddy! and all bloody! pretty sweet! I went and layed down while they continued playing and dumped water on my face. It stopped and I played a little more... but it was just kind of ironic that the only guy who spoke english ended up with the bloody face.... oh well... at least I blocked the goal!
I can´t believe how fast the wedding is coming up too! That´s so sweet!
Congrats to Terry and Laura and the new baby! Looks good from the photos!
For P-days we play soccer with the group, we ate some pizza today, and I actually made strawberry flan the other day, it was delicious! I´m still getting fatter I think! But I´m working to keep it at bay, and I´ll loose a lot in the summer.......I hope!
I am getting along with my comp, and the other Elder´s, it´s pretty fun in a 4 Elder house. I attached some photos of them and the view from the front of our house, and a couple others. The comp eating is Elder Cespedes! We´re working, it´s just a little slow right now.
I´m reading I think more than ever right now, I´m now in Mark 10 in the New Testament and Helaman 5 in the Book of Mormon, further in spanish too! I love it, it´s so fun to read the Joseph Smith translations too, see what was changed. Anyhow... that´s about all I can really think of right now.... We´re just moving forward and trying to do our best. My testimony is still growing more and more... and I´m also more and more grateful for how my life has turned out because of the Gospel the more I come to know the lives of these people. It´s amazing and humbling.
Thanks for the update, and the support, good luck with everything that´s coming up! I love ya tons! Te amo mucho!

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

Hola from Brazil! That´s right, I´ve now been to 3 different countries on my mission! Rivera is right on the border, lots of people speaking Portuguese! My area is called La Pedrera! We actually have a branch with about 40 members that we share with another companionship. Our barrios are La Raca, Mandubi, and La Virgencita! It´s all definitely been a big change for me and I´m actually really really tired. First of all our area is more of the country, changed from the buisy city to the country, we´ve crossed streams, walked through fields, the other day we almost got run over by a bunch of cows! But it´s really nice, a lot more quiet and peaceful. Other changes, I´m living in a four elder house now, two of which are Latinos and one gringo who actually has a change less than me, so we´ve been getting our Spanish practice in :) I´m actually extremely grateful for the help I´ve receieved from above with the language, I feel I kind of just jumped a level, since I´ve gotten to Rivera I´ve been understanding almost everything, and I can speak a lot better, it´s what I prayed for before hand and no doubt God has answered my prayers and blessed me with the language, I can have conversations with my comp and understand him and everything, it´s awesome! I actually had to call Sister Heaton and the mission doctor for him because they don´t speak much Spanish, and I had to translate for him... ya, pretty fun! :) I really am extremely grateful though. It´s also a little bit of a challenge... I´m usually the only one who gets up on time and does the workouts and stuff.... but I´m trying to get them up, slowly but surely. I´ve actually added the New Testament to my reading! I´m In Alma 45 in English and Alma 7 in Spanish, and now I´m also in Mathew 10 in the New testament, also reading all the JST´s, I just can´t get enough, I love it all!!! But I am really really tired, it´s been really cold up here the last week and I freeze at night, had to leave my extra blanket at the other house, so I wake up a lot! but it´s slowly getting a little warmer, so I think I´ll be ok. It´s a fun area though and the members are all really cool so far. I had a little girl teach me some dance moves the other day.. pretty sweet :) not gonna lie.
Anyhow, I´m glad you liked the card! and I´m glad all the letters have made it. I´m glad to hear the business is staying busy, that´s really good. I do love all of King Benjamin´s stuff, really blunt and strait forward. And I´m reading about Moroni right now, awesome! and only 25! And you´ll have to let me know how meeting the Judd family goes. Ask them who their favorite superhero is!
The big group of Elders is my zone in cerro! I don´t really know what the building is, but it´s really cool! Tongue soup isn´t bad. We do have little heater things but we don´t have them turned on that often because it costs us money, we´d wrather eat :) I really like the jersey, and I actually don´t remember what the black thing is... anyways, I have more pics, but I don´t have my cord with me today so I´ll send some next week!
Oh, also, there´s an Elder Bates out here that we´re related to through Levi Ward Hancock and also Mosiah Hancock! Small world, he says hi!
Anyhow, I think that´s good for now, I´m probably forgetting some stuff, a lot has happened this last week! and I´m tired, but it´s all good, we did have 5 investigators in the church yesterday though so I´m pretty happy! :) anyhow, keep me updated with everything, I love the photos you send and hearing how everything´s going! Love ya tons!!! Que pasen bien!

August 2, 2010

We got our changes last night! I´m finally leaving my area!!! I´m offically over a fourth of the way through my mission! I can´t believe it, I´ve been out over half a year, the time really is flying! I´ll be taking a bus tonight at midnight to go to my new area in Rivera! Right on the border of Brazil, I´ll probably pick up a little bit of Portuguese, not sure how to spell that, too! I also get my first Latino Comp! Elder Cespedes, not sure how you spell that name either! It´s actually a little sad to leave this area, I´ve come to know the people so well, the members, the investigators, the less actives even! I´ve only had one baptism, but I feel I´m leaving a few behind who I´ve had the chance to bring to the knowledge of the Gospel and work with for awhile and will probably get baptised this next change! To tell the truth, this last week was really long! and tiring! We actually had 11 investigators tell us they were coming to church..... we ended up with ZERO! it was really depressing! and we had the biggest rain storm so far, and it got really cold! But I have seen miracles this week too. Jennifer will get baptised soon too, I can feel it, and the Gomez family when they can get married!
In the pics, the little boy is Josue! Jennifer´s son! And yes! that was flan! Marvelous and delicious flan! My favorite dessert out here so far!! I think when I get home I would like B-day flan instead of B-day cake! And that was the Gomez family, I´m sending a better picture! And it´s not jello, we actually made them French toast with homemade syrup! delicious! I´m also sending some pics of other investigators, Jennifer, Lucia, Elizabeth, Gomez, Damien.... just a few of the awesome people I´ve been able to work with :) And a picture of me burning some socks with holes, I also burned a tie for my 1/2 year mark! YAHOOO!!!! Crazy how it flies!
Keep going on your studdies! I´m in the first few chapters of Alma in Spanish, and Alma 35 in English! I´ve also been reading some Bible stuff on the side! I can´t get enough! I love the scriptures more than ever! I´m finding so many ways to relate them too my life! Just reading about Alma! How he wishes he was an angel so he could get people to just believe! I can relate, we´ve had so many stubborn people and slammed doors this last week! I hate it cause they just don´t get it! They don´t realize what we´ve got to share! but we keep knocking to find those few who do! I love the people in the Book of Mormon, I find myself relating to Nephi and Alma and all the rest, I love it! It´s the word of God, don´t forget that! Anyhow, thanks for all the support, I can´t believe the summer break is almost over over there! crazy! keep reading and praying and sending me letters and emails! I love it! Loved the video too! Thanks a bunch, I love you tons!!!! Chau por ahora!
PS (can you check my facebook, I think some Uruguayans will be trying to add me as a friend!) you can let them, they already know I can´t write till after the mission, but they want to see some photos! Thanks abunch!

July 26, 2010

Nope.. just like root-beer, public restrooms, spicy food, and pet control, Pioneer day doesn´t exist here. But it sounds like you guys had fun! And the photos Dad sent were cool, and the video came through just fine! I loved it, a pretty sweet looking float! and the missionaries unfortunately don´t get to walk in parades here.... :( But it´s all good. We survive! It´s really fun to just chill, chit-chat and eat food. For P-day today we didn´t really have anything to do, so it´s just been a pretty relaxing day, we wrote some letters, cleaned the house a little bit, cooked some ´eggs in a hole` (which I actually haven´t had since the states!), and then we chilled at the church for a little bit, Elder Lockheart played a little piano, I swept some floors cause they were filthy!, then we just walked around looking for shoe-polish, ended up buying another jersey and a shirt, just cause they´re World Cup ones and won´t be around for too long. And now we´re writing emails! Just a chillax day! Love it!
Pretty much everyone walks to church, so ya, when the weather is bad, it´s hard to get people to come. Yesterday it actually rained too, but after church thank goodness! We had 3 investigators in church this week! Not the Gomez family, unfortunately, actually speaking of the Gomez family, we just found out that they´re not married last Tuesday! We thought they were, but they were actually just comitted, and Ivana actually smokes! I don´t know why she waited to come out with it just this last week, we´ve taught the Word of Wisdom already and all of that... they really do what to get baptised though and get married, and they´re gonna keep going to church, but the baptism is going to have to wait now.... I´ll probably leave the area before they get baptised... but that´s ok, they were actually really sad when I told them. But anyhow, we did get an older lady named Daisy to church, she´s really an interesting character, she´s a very touchy person, and she made my comp touch an old guys back.... ya, she´s been taking care of her father who was 98 years old I think, he died about 2 weeks ago, it´s sad and all, but I feel he needed to go, plus she can now come to church. We had a young girl in church, Micaela, we´ve been teaching her for awhile, we actually thought she was 8 so it would be a ward baptism, not a missionary baptism, but we just found out yesterday that she´s actually 9, it´s hard to teach her, because she´s so young, so last week I just brought paper and we drew God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost and talked about them, we´re gonna teach her more like that from now on and get her baptised :) and finally we had Jenifer in church, we´ve been teaching her for awhile too! She´s 22, married, and has one kid! Josue! You can see him and her in my pictures :) That´s the highlight I guess of the week, as you can see in the pictures, we had a ward activity, just for investigators to come and members to get to know eachother better, it´s actually the first ward activity I´ve ever been to in the ward, pretty much just because we, the missionaries, got them to do it, hopefully it happens more often. But we only had about 8 members show, and then Jenifer, but I still really liked it. It´s actually kind of hard to explain the feeling... Just these last couple weeks, I feel we´ve worked better with the ward, got them a little more willing to help, we´ve been trying to bring members to lessons, and we´ve been bringing people to church after so many weeks of having no one, and then this activity. We brought treats and snacks, we watched Finding Faith in Christ, and talked, read a few scriptures, and that´s pretty much it, It was actually kind of funny, the first one there was Jenifer! and everyone else was late! But there was one moment I really liked, can´t really explain why... when we started the movie, Josue got a little noisy and cranky and so I offered to take him into the primary room so Jenifer could enjoy the movie with everyone else, don´t worrry, it was right across the hall and the doors were open, so I wasn´t breaking any rules, but I just remember sitting there, playing with Josue and the toys while everyone else was watching the movie and I just felt good... that´s about the best I can do to explain it. Having here watch, doing something with the ward and just helping her in whatever way I could to feel the Spirit so that hopefully one day she´ll get baptised. I pretty much was just beeming in that little primary room, just me and Josue. An extraordianary feeling! Anyhow... it´s been another week of challenges but also miracles.... good stuff :) I love it, I really hope everything is still rolling along smoothly over there, thanks for everything, (I didn´t get any letters this last week, but they told me I have some for tomorrow!) and I hope you get the camera card I sent, probably will be another week.
Anyhow! Love ya! Tons!

July 19, 2010

Well, we had 12 glow sticks and two plastic pieces that you stick the ends into to make a ball. So we had the two plastic pieces represent the Prophet and the Priesthood, then the 12 glow sticks were the apostles. And when you break them and let them glow, it´s like ´letting your light so shine`, the good works of the Church. So we had our completed ball, the Church. Then we took away one of the glow sticks and it didn´t change too much, but it was incomplete. Then we took away one of the key plastic pieces and the whole thing just falls apart. Then we put it back together talking about Joseph Smith and the Restoration, showing that it was the same! and even today it´s still the same... ya, it was a pretty fun lesson :)
I love testimonies, especially here on the mission, I get to hear them everyday pretty much, including my own. Also watching other members, recent converts, and investigators, there testimonies grow, it´s awesome! I just wished all the investigators down here would realize that they need to work first, then they´ll feel it´s true.
I´m happy for Jamie! He´s always been an awesome guy! I think I´m going the oppositte of him though, I´m gaining weight, don´t think I really look much different, and I´m not gaining it really fast, but I am! Maybe I´ll be fat at the end of my mission...hmmmm.... :)
Well this last week was kind of sad... good! but sad... we have to push back the baptism of the Gomez family to August because they didn´t come to church this last week... as a matter of fact, none of our investigators came... we had 7 in total telling us they were going to come, we actually even went to go tell them and get them Sunday morning, but Sunday was a nasty day, it rained all the night before and all day, and it was really windy and cold..., plus it was Father´s day, don´t know why they had it so late this year. But everyone either didn´t answer their door, or told us they couldn´t go because of the weather... we even went to the Gomez´s and they said they´d come for Sacrament meeting..... but they didn´t show.. I´m guessing it was because of the weather too..... stupid weather... it pretty much rains every Sunday and I think it´s the Devil trying to disrupt the work, or God testing the faith of the investigators... it´s actually probably both. I don´t know... I know I´m not supposed to get myself down about it, but it´s depressing when you´re sitting in the front of the church and no one shows... but we did get to pass the Sacrament... I haven´t done that for a long time. And my companion got to give a talk, (so far I haven´t had to yet!) It was alright. This last week I also went on divisions with Elder Medina, a Latino! He actually knows a bit of English so it wasn´t too bad, we talked Spanglish the whole time, it was fun.... but we actually didn´t end up teaching any lessons... I don´t know if it´s because he didn´t have any planned or what... we just ended up at members houses... but oh well.. it was only for two days. We met the new pres and hermana at zone conference this last week, they´re workin on their Spanish, but they speek alright, kind of like me. They´re from Cedar City so I talked to them a little bit about the Shakespeare Festival....oh the memories! They seem really nice. That´s pretty much it... I´m still reading the Book of Mormon, In Spanish I´m just finishing Mosiah, and in English I´m in the middle of Alma...LOVE IT! We´re dealing with a lot of investigators right now who have learned most everything... they just lack the desire... it´s hard to see all these people who just don´t get it! These last couple of days too it seems like all the people we try to talk to and all the doors we knock, they just all say they have no interest whatsoever then leave, or shut the door in our faces... we actually only found one new investigator this week and it´s hard...I don´t think we´re lazy, we work, I mean you could always do better and we try to, but it just seems like no one wants to listen right now... They just don´t care, to put it simply. They just want to sit around and drink mate and live their life like there´s nothing more to it. We just keep praying and trying, plus being as cold as it´s been no one wants to talk with us... but oh well... we just keep trying. Sigamos luchando!
On a more happy note! I think I have muscles in my upper body! Yay for morning exercises! It´s amazing how many missionaries don´t even do them. It´s hard though when you wake up freezing and seeing your breathe! but I love it :) Oh, and I´m happy for Andra! Finally! It´s actually kind of weird looking at the pics, but really cool too!
The package was awesome! and all the candy actually lasted me till yesterday! Don´t worry, it would have lasted longer, but all the members and investigators really like to try candy from the States, I taught a few lessons with the candy and shared a lot of it, so it wasn´t just me :) Good stuff!
Well... this is a long email, I hope you all are doing great over there! Sounds like it´s been exciting, and there´s some stuff to look forward to.. like a wedding! So I feel happy for ya! Love it! Keep praying for us, that we can find those who are ready, keep reading too!
Love ya all tons! Chau!

July 12, 2010

We got to see the end of the game with a recent convert :) Oh.. sunday was a hard day proseliting though, because of the game and also it started raining really hard on and off and the clouds made it get dark really early... so no one let us in and we were wet, but Church was actually really good, the Gomez family came again and loved it and we showed them the font and talked some more about it and talking with the Bishop they decided to change, we´re baptising Herman and Ivana on the 25th and then he will recieve the priesthood and baptise his 2 oldest kids on the 1st! It´s gonna be pretty sweet! We actually made breakfast this last week with them, FRENCH TOAST!!!!! I haven´t had it since the States! and we made some homade buttermilk syrup! oh... so delicious! We also taught them about tithing using some of the skittles :) (ya, I got the package by the way, and everything was there, and it´s been really great! everyone loves the skittles, didn´t even know they had those) But ya, we did the thing the Bishop does, gave them all their 10 skittles and they had to give me back one! They loved it! Great family! We´re also prepping another young girl for baptism, she´s 8 years old so it´s a ward baptism, not a missionary one, but the family is less active and we´ve been teaching her and getting her ready, I actually really love teaching kids :) they listen!
Sounds like the sunday lesson went well then :) maybe I should find some glass... we are gonna do a lesson with glow sticks tomorrow :)
It´s actually really wierd, at the end of this month I´ll be 1/4 of the way done with my mission! Crazy! I feel the language is doing pretty good, but it still has a ways to go! Anyhow, still have a year and a half to go, so it´s all good. It´s sad that the Swenson´s are heading off though.
There are more letters coming so... yup :) I also got some letters from the young women :) I love getting letters!!! :) You should send some pics of the fam!
Anyway! All´s good for this week! Slower week, but we have a bunch of references and things to do next week, I´m pretty excited, and we have our first zone conference with the Heaton´s this week too! So we´re just gonna work hard and find some people! :) I hope it´s all good there! Love hearing from you guys! Love ya tons!!! Chau!