Monday, January 31, 2011

Excerpt of email dated Jan 31, 2011

well i had my birthday on Friday and it was pretty cool....
.... i opened your package that you sent and i loved the gifts you sent! i literally played the magnetic chess game like 20 times already! it was pretty fun. me and c____ have played it a lot now. the cookies were great! they were a little dry but its ok, we just had milk with them and they were fine.
....well this week was pretty cool. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday Higgins went to Brandon to go to a training meeting. So W was with me and C for those days. On Tuesday night we ate part of the raccoon that we skinned. it tasted really good actually! We're cooking the rest of it tonight over at the Sapps place! We also skinned another raccoon too! We found a dead one that was still pretty fresh so we picked it up into a bag and skinned it but threw that meat away. That was earlier in the week.
...Well this week has been pretty low with lessons. Appointments fall through a lot. But on Saturday we went over to an investigators house named D____ and she only speaks Spanish. So me and c went over there and C taught the lesson. It was interesting watching it. It went well he said and were going back this week sometime. Well as you know this Saturday is transfer info and were going to find out if we stay or go. There's alot that might happen so next Tuesday is my next p-day so I'll let you know then where I'm at. So just for this week when you send stuff in the mail use the mission home address, just until I find out where I'm going. Well that's about it this week. I'm glad that things back home are going good for you all. It's pretty exciting that Cole is going to Georgia! It's going to be very exciting! Well thanks for the emails! I love reading them I'll talk to you next Tuesday! Bye!
Love Hank 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Excerpt from email dated Jan 24, 2011

...hows the week been? well this week was pretty cool! i got the email from Cole. he's going to Georgia Atlanta North Mission! that's so cool that hes going to the south too! that's pretty awesome! how long is Cole staying in the MTC? I'm just wondering.
...well this week has been pretty good like i said, me and c taught a few lessons this week and they went really good. the V____went to church again this week and that was really good, they haven't come in a while. were going to try and go over there again this week. hopefully things are going good with them. we have a dinner appointment with J R! i always enjoy going over to their house for dinner because J went to Mesa Arizona on his mission. its fun talking to him about mesa.
...well the crazy fun thing is that 2 days ago me and c went over to a members house and we talked for a little bit. as we were leaving the dad gave us a full raccoon that he shot the night before and gave it to us to skin and eat. well that night we skinned it! it took us forever but now we have a cool raccoon skin to hang up on the wall or make a hat out of it. after that we gutted it and put all the meat in the freezer! there was a lot of meat on it! it was so cool! were going to eat it probably next week so ill tell you how it went!
...anyway that's about it this week! its great hearing about you guys from home! ill talk to you next week! love ya! bye!
love hank

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A glimpse of Hank grinning ear to ear

Hank (right) with Elder W.
Hank has a great smile...he always has!  But when he usually poses for a picture, he rarely shows his true smile.  (in fact, the picture I have of him at the top right of this blog, above his testimony, was taken at Fossil Creek a few weeks before he left for his mission, and it was a candid shot... he didn't know I was taking the picture until it was too late. It's a favorite of mine, because it shows his real smile.)  My mother-in-law, Betty, took a video of Hank and his companions at lunch when she and John's sister Susan were driving through Louisiana, heading back to Alabama a few weeks ago.  Betty posted a short video clip of he and the other Elders at lunch, and I froze this image of Hank and had to share it.  It's a bit grainy, but I love it.  I love seeing how happy he is. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hank's friend, Cole

Hank has been good friends with Cole since they were toddlers, and they've grown up together. 
L-R: Jonna, Ciara, Cole, Hank.  Cole's 3rd birthday  (Dec. 1994)
L-R:  Hank, Cole, A.J. and friend Reed after painting Whittier Elementary Baseball backstops for Hank's Eagle project.  (March 2007)
And so Cole was there when Hank opened his mission call in June of last year, and he was there with us at the airport when Hank left for his mission on Sept 15. 

A.J., Cole, Jonna, Carla, Addie, John, and Jeri ( Lisa, taking picture) watching Hank's plane take off.

Hank and Cole, 3 days before Hank left for his mission.  (Sept 2010)

Last night Cole got his mission call, to the Georgia Atlanta North Mission.  Jonna and A.J. were there when he opened his call, and they said he was pretty choked up as he read it. (Jonna is good friends with  Cole's sister, Ciara, who just got back from her own mission from England last month.) wow!  Cole is going to the South too!! I look forward to Hank's letter on Monday, and what he has to say about his call. 

Also, Hank's other friend, Jake, who is serving in Paraguay right now...his family is from Georgia, and has had several family vacations back there.  He told Hank when he got his call how much he would love the South. 
Hank and Jake in MTC, Sept 2010

We're pretty excited for Cole now, as he gets ready to leave in only 2 months, on March 23rd.  That happens to be my mom's birthday, and the day before A.J's 18th birthday!  Wow, in just one more year, A.J. should be heading out himself.  This "time going fast" thing is just killing me!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jan 18, 2011

Excerpts of emails to me and to John this week....
hey mom! hey sorry i dint write back yesterday, all the librarys were closed because of the holiday. as you already know grandma Jackson visited me on Saturday and it was awesome! so you saw all the pictures already?! i can tell you the names right now. in the picture where somebody is sitting on the bike :in the back it goes starting on the left, elder w, C, then me. H is on the bike. so how long did grandma stay in mesa? that was so cool that they stopped by in west Monroe! it was awesome! she just showed up! i heard knock on the door then i went to go answer it, and there they were, and then grandma snapped a picture of me like right when i opened it! haha! it was great! anyway that was the big highlight of the week.
last week we went through the ice storm which was cool. i took so many pictures of it. anyway i don't need any warm clothes or thermals, haha I'm doing just fine.
...right now I'm in Monroe with r at ULM in the library! its pretty awesome. anyway that's where were doing the emails at today. yesterday for pday we went to farmerville to play mud rugby with all the other missionaries. that's cool that the M____ live in greenville. i actually know where greenville is, there are missionaries there! so i might one day be assigned to that area! anyway my letter is incredibly short this week, sorry. I'm a little busy today. ill write back next week with more news i guess. oh and thanks for the birthday package your going to send me, that's awesome! until next week, bye!
love hank
hey dad! ...
....yesterday I went on exchange again and I'm in Monroe until Wednesday, with Elder R. so anyway things went pretty good this week. as you already know Grandma surprised me this week, haha! it was pretty awesome, we were just chilling in our apartment when somebody knocked on our door. i was like "ill get it". then i opened it and grandma snapped a picture of me, i was like in shock, haha! it was pretty funny. well we talked and then she took us out to lunch. we tried going to Cheddars again but it was to full, and so we went to Wendy's instead. after lunch we had to say goodbye and she left. it was pretty cool, I'm glad that she stopped by. anyway that was like the big highlight of the week for me. church was alright this week. well last week we had stake conference and president monsen and L tom perry and a few others spoke in Salt Lake and had it telecast to all the gulf states. this week they showed it again. so that's what we did on Sunday.
well for dinners we usually get fed like 4 times a week. last night somebody in our ward named s____ took us to his dads family restaurant. it was so cool, it was like a benihana type thing, where you sit down and the cook cooks it in front of you while doing these cool tricks! it was cool. so that was last night. well what happens with us is like this: the T____ feed us on Sundays, the c____ feed us on Tuesday, the H____ feed us on Wednesday, and the R____ feed us on Thursday. and that's about it. once in a while somebody will sign up for lunch or another night, but usually this is how our dinners go in west Monroe. anyway it was great talking with you dad, ....ill talk to you next week. bye!
love hank

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grandma Jackson's surprise visit

John's mom, who lives in Alabama, drove through West Monroe early this past Saturday morning, coming back from a visit to Arizona. Hank hasn't seen his Grandma in over a year. She and John's sister Susan surprised Hank, and took he and his companion and roommates to lunch.  She just posted these pictures tonight on her Facebook, and I was surprised to find myself very emotional looking at them.  I mean, really....he's only been gone 4 months, we've been in touch with him weekly, and we had a great phone call on Christmas Day.  We feel pretty blessed that we've had so much communication with him. But to see these pictures, even my kids said "He looks different".  He does.  He looks so much more grown up than I remember, and he looks so happy.  He'll be 20 years old in 2 weeks.  He's not a little boy anymore...and pretty soon, not even a teenager.  I'm such a mom, but it's true when I say...he is man.
Elder Hank Jackson with his Grandma, Betty Jackson.  Jan. 15, 2011
Hank with his Grandma Betty, and Aunt Susan.  Jan. 15, 2011
Taking the Missionaries to lunch. 
The surprise!
In back: (L-R) Elder W, Elder C, Elder Jackson. Elder H is on the bike.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jan 10, 2010

Hey i guess you guys already know about this ice storm blowing through here! i was going to tell  you  about it, but i guess you already know, ha ha! well as you already know, a HUGE ice storm is came through here on Sunday morning and freezing rain is still going on right now! its pretty cool! i woke up at like 5 o clock yesterday when Higgins went like, "Its snowing!" i got up and went outside and it was Snowing, like real snow! the snowflakes were like the size of quarters! it was cool! and the sleet lasted all day! i did hydroplane a few times but nothing too serious. but yah, it was real easy to skid. on one of mine i was going like 5 miles per hour and turned the corner  and i kept going for like 5 seconds. and also there are so many icicles. i took so many  pictures of the icicles! there everywhere right now! ill send some pictures when i am able to! well that is like the  biggest story this week. i hope this storm lasts a long time! they closed alot of places today! I'm not at the library right now, its closed for the day. I'm at the sapps using their computer to email! they live right underneath us.
 well this week we've been doing the same thing, just meeting and teaching people. its going good, but nothing big has really happened. people were getting ready for the storm all week. well this week might go a little slower because of it, but I'm OK with it, i like stormy weather. I think you already know that though, ha ha! well i didn't know that Cole sent his papers in! i already gave  him a prediction before i left, but i forgot what i said. i think  i said either Florida or Canada. but  i think he's going foreign learning a language, because all of his siblings went English speaking. well thanks for the emails and thinking about me during this storm, ha ha!
I forgot to tell you a little bit more about Elder C. hes an awesome guy! hes very cool and i think I'm going to get along with him just fine this transfer. i hope i stay with commock, and west Monroe for a while!
love hank

Snow and sleet

It's early Monday morning, we're expecting an email from Hank later today...but the national weather report says there is a lot of snow and ice storms going on in the south, especially Nothern Lousiana and Mississippi, so it's possible Hank might be stuck for a couple of days inside.  We'll see.  It'll be interesting to hear from him, and hear what he has to say about it all.  Coming from Arizona, this is all a new experience for him, and knowing Hank, he's probably loving it!

Jan 3, 2010

Hey Mom!
this week was pretty cool for the most part. on new years eve we all stayed up until midnight for the new year. it was nothing special we just waited until 12:00. we then went to bed right after. my new companion, elder C, is actually from Houston. He was in the Brazil mission at first but then went home for health reasons. he then got reassigned to Mississippi Jackson mission. hes a pretty cool guy. Elder H is still here and is training a new missionary who just came out from the MTC. his name is Elder W and is from South Ogden Utah. so were all still here for 6 more weeks. our next transfer day is February 8th. ill let you know on that day where I'm moving to next (if i am moving). this week i was showing C the area a bit. we didn't really do much except that really. its been raining this week so we've been having some nice weather. its very relaxing when it rains. hows the weather been in Arizona? that's crazy that it snowed! that like never happens! did you guys go see it? and also those pictures of Juliet! she lost a ton of weight! i cant believe it! its crazy that she lost like 20 pounds right? anyway this week was pretty good, nothing really interesting happened. but hopefully this week will be more eventful. i was going to try and send you some pictures, but the card reader that I'm using isn't really working. I'm going to get another one. well ill talk to you guys on next Monday. Bye!
Love hank

Dec 28, 2010

hey it was so great to talk with everybody on Christmas! 
... I was really glad to talk to all of you. well the only thing that happened this week so far is that i got a new companion, his name is Elder C and I went to Arkansas yesterday with Elder R while we were on splits. We were there for the whole day. It's pretty cool. anyway my letter is going to be a little more short than usual today because of how busy I am today. I was going to send you some pictures but the computer isn't really working, so I'll try again next week! ! Love ya, Bye!
love hank