Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 28, 2011- Pres. Tucker comes for interviews, mowing Gator's lawn...etc.

Excerpt of emails home:
Hey how you doing mom? Well sorry I didn't email yesterday. We had interviews with President Tucker and it was pretty cool. He came to our apartment to do them this time, so it was different. It went well. So yesterday was Jeri's birthday. Pretty crazy. I'll write here a letter right after this one. Well yesterday we mowed this guy's lawn and we got so dirty. We're mowing the rest of  his lawn on Wednesday. The guy were mowing the lawn for is pretty cool, his name is Gator and he's very cool. He is a Southerner haha! He's a pretty funny guy, and also these other people Rick and Joseph. Rick is about 50 and his son is like 14 and their conversations are so funny, they talk about the most random stuff. I like going over there a lot. Thanks for the Camelbak your sending, I'll use it. I'm looking forward to getting it. Right now we're mostly using the car but we use bikes once in a while. Elder T and I get along good. He's a nice guy and I'm glad to be with him. We're planning on going golfing at the Pass Christian golf course on July 11th. I'm pretty excited for it. The last time I went golfing, it was when it was me and A.J. and dad at the Riverveiw golf course. I'm really enjoying the south, its a pretty cool place and I'm getting used to everything. Well that's about it thanks again for everything. I'll talk to  you next week. love ya bye!
Love Hank
excerpt to John:
hey dad, how you doing. sorry I didn't write yesterday we had interviews from President Tucker yesterday and so today is our pday for this week. Interviews went good, he did it differently this time. He came to everyone's apartment and interviewed them there. It was different but overall it wasn't bad. Me and T are getting along good. Pass Christian is going good. Yesterday we also went to one of our investigators house to mow his lawn. his name is Gator and he's a really cool guy. We mowed his front lawn yesterday and we're mowing his back lawn on Wednesday. It's getting hot here, but to be honest it feels like its hotter back home. It gets up to like 93 degrees plus the humidity. But the worst months I've heard though is in July and August. So during those months I'll let you know how bad it is.  
Love Hank

Monday, June 20, 2011

Excerpt of emails sent 6/20/11 Day after Father's Day. New Companion- Elder Tyler

hey mom how you doing? well this week has gone good. elder T is a cool guy, I'm very happy that I'm going to be with him this transfer.  i think me and T are going to get along this transfer. so back home the fifes finally made it to our house? haha I've been waiting for them to finally stop by, I'm glad that you guys had a good time talking with them. i loved the pictures you sent, it is cool seeing those pictures. i look forward to talk with them in 2 weeks when they come back.
so hows Jonna doing? that's cool that she was able to come home for fathers day and talk. and she got some interesting storys that i never heard of before. those storys were pretty cool, I've never heard of them before but it does sound like dad though. so I'm pretty much just showing elder T around this area an its going good, the weather here is getting hot, but i honestly don't think its that bad. people tell me its the worst in August so I'll let you know in August how the weather is. the only thing about it is it gets to around 90 to 95 degrees but the humidity makes it feel like 10 degrees hotter. the heat index i think is what its called. but anyway right now i don't think its that bad, but well see how August goes. well mom thanks for everything, and ill talk to you next week. thanks for the packages you sent. I'm looking forward to getting them. well ill talk to you next week, love you bye!
love hank
hey dad! well this week is over now and I'm with elder T, hes a cool guy and i think I'm going to get along with him this transfer. hes from taylorsville Utah. He's a really cool guy and its going good. so this week was fathers day, I'm glad that it went good for you back home. that's cool that jonna was able to come down from flagstaff and be able to speak. it sounds like it was a good day for you. that's awesome that the fifes were able to finally stop by and visit. they told me they were going to stop by but i didn't know when exactly they were going to. that's awesome that they finally did. i haven't read moms email yet but I'm sure that she will have something to say about it. well pass christian is going good right now. we have a few people we are teaching. we have this guy named E and he's pretty cool. he's baptist and he drums for them. were going to go to his church one of these days to watch him drum. and also we have this girl names L she's pretty cool too. we've only been teaching her for about 2 weeks now. they are pretty much our top 2 people that we got right now. well dad thanks for everything, the letters back home really have helped out a lot. Thanks again and I'll talk to you next week. bye
love hank

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another fun story...

I have been meaning to share this story for quite some time, but am just now taking the time.
In May, the week of transfers, we got the email  from Hank saying he was being transferred to Pass Christian.  I looked it up on the map, and realized it was very close to a girl I knew growing up in Ventura, Shawna.  Facebook is an amazing thing....last year sometime, I reconnected with Shawna, and also her sister K.C. on Facebook...I haven't seen either of them for 25 + years.  When we first reconnected, we wrote back and forth a couple of times, and caught up.  Shawna lives in Mississippi, on her FB she had put Gulfport, which is very near Pass Christian. 

So, fast forward to Hank's transfer.  When he got his transfer, I got on FB and contacted Shawna, and told her about Hank.  (Also, I learned that she is actually in Pass Christian). I said "If you ever see a couple of LDS missionaries walking down the road, will you go up and ask if one of them is my son?"  She said she'd be happy to.  I knew that in a few days would be Mother's Day and we'd get to talk to Hank, so I was going to tell him about Shawna then. 

BUT...the very next day, I got an email from Shawna!  She described how she was walking out her front door, and there stood two LDS missionaries!  She asked which one of them was from Ventura, and she said Hank was amazed!  She said they had a great conversation, and she said some very nice things about Hank.  When Hank called a few days later for Mother's Day, we talked about it, and he explained in more detail about it, and about how nice Shawna was, and how shocked he was when she said she was from Ventura.  It was just a fun moment, and I was so grateful to Shawna for taking the time to visit with him and his companion.  I love how small the world is.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Visitors from Mississippi!

This past Wednesday morning, June 15, we got a phone call from a couple, Evelyn & Wilson F, who are in Hank's ward in Mississippi right now, and who were out here visiting some family here in Mesa!  They wanted to come and meet us, and give us a couple of pictures they'd taken of the missionaries!  This sweet couple showed up, gave us the pictures, and visited for about an hour.  We LOVED meeting them.  They were so generous, and offered to take a care package back to him.  So this morning, they showed up at 7:30 am to pick up a box we packed full of his favorite junk food, as well as some practical things like shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, etc. 
I can't even begin to express how appreciative John and I are to this sweet couple.  It meant so much to us.  This couple are both from the South, met there, came out to Mesa to marry in the temple, and decided to raise their family here.  They lived here 33 years, retired, and moved back 6 years ago.  They live just about 7 miles from Hank and his companion.  They are ward missionaries, and feed the missionaries often, and said some wonderful things about Hank, which really did my heart good.  I love hearing from other people, how he is doing. 
Here is one of the pictures they shared with us: 
Elder D is on the far right, then I think Elder N, then Hank, but I don't know the Elder on the far left.  This was taken in the Fife's home one night after dinner, during a missionary meeting.  Late May or early June, 2011.

Here are pictures of the Fife's in our home.  We'll be sending copies of these to Hank...I think he'll love them! (Jonna is at EFY for the next 3 weeks as a counselor, so she wasn't in this picture)
Proof that the Fife's were at our home, looking at Hank's pictures on the wall!

PICTURES! Pictures of Vicksburg, and Pass Christian

 (Hank sent us these pictures just after he got to Pass Christian, Mississippi, in May of 2011.  It's taken me over a month to post them.  I couldn't put them all on there, so many, but here are a few of them)

Companion Elder M.  Elder M  finished his mission with Hank, and went home the next transfer.  It was hard for Hank to see him go.  About March 2011- Vicksburg, Mississippi

Hank and new companion Elder A in Vicksburg- April or May 2011

Hank with his new friends, recently baptized.  (I can't remember their names!)
Mississippi River, in Vicksburg- April/May 2011

Another baptism...I will have to ask Hank her name too!  March or April, 2011
New Transfer!  May 2011- Pass Christian, Mississippi!  He was amazed that people had docks in their backyards. 

More pictures of Pass Christian, MS.

Excerpt of email sent June 14, 2011: Staying in Pass Christian- New Companion

hey mom, how you doing? thanks for the letter, and the package. i got it on Monday, i loved it all, that's crazy getting all the graduation nominations (he meant to say announcements- went sent him all the graduation announcements of friends and family), i couldn't believe that all these people were graduating already. and also thanks for the shirt and the cookies, i loved them. the cookies were awesome, there all eaten now, haha! well transfers are today and elder D is going to Shreveport. I'm getting a new companion. i don't know who it is, but I'm meeting him at 6 o'clock tonight. I'm really nervous but I'm really looking forward to it as well. I'm really glad that I'm staying in Pass Christian too, its a good place. I've heard a lot about the wildfires out in Arizona. A few people in our ward are from Arizona and talk about it once in a while, yesterday i heard its almost bigger than the rodeo chedweski fire. that sounds crazy. hopefully it will die down soon. well not much has happened this week, transfer info came and i was in shock. i didn't think i was going to be with Elder D this short. i really hope that my new companion is a cool guy. but well see, either way it will be fine in the end. well that's about it I'm really sorry that this letter is so short today, ill talk to you next week and tell you how my new companion is. well thanks again for everything and ill talk to you later bye!
love hank
(excerpt of email to John:)
hey dad how you doing? i got the package this week it was awesome...well this week was better than last week as well. transfer info came and elder D is leaving. he's going to Shreveport. I'm going to get a new companion today i don't know his name and I'm meeting him tonight around 6. its been a very interesting transfer, i was with elder D for a lot less than i originally thought i was. next week i'll let you know how my new companion is. well pass christian is a cool place I'm really glad that I'm staying again for another transfer. thanks for all that you do, and ill talk to you next week, bye.
love hank

Excerpt of emails sent June 6, 2011

Hey mom how you doing? thanks for the letters you sent. I really like the pictures you guys sent too. The Beecroft run, the pier and stuff. Thanks, it was awesome also to get the postcards too! I really enjoyed all of them.
Well I'm sure your probably wondering how this week went for me. Well it was better than last week, but it's still a struggle at times. Transfer info is this week and I'm pretty sure that were both staying for another transfer. I'll let you know next week. But just in case send letters and stuff to the mission office just for this week. mostly we've been doing more tracting and trying some more people that we've found. the members here are really cool, especially the w's, c's, and z families. they are probably my favorite families to go over so far. I will say that the people down here are really helping get through this. And the thing is they probably don't even know it. Tonight we have a dinner appointment with the Z's and I'm pretty happy about that, then I have exchanges right after. I'm going to be with elder N till Wednesday morning. I'm really excited about this as well. Hurricane season officially started on June 1st, so that's exciting. Some people down here are a little worried about it. I personally don't think anything is going to happen this year, but hey I've been wrong before. Well anyway that's about it. Thanks for everything, and the postcards. I'm going to keep an eye out for the package this week. Thanks again for everything, bye!
love hank

Email to John:
hey dad how you doing? well another week has gone by. i got all the post cards from you guys, they were great! thanks so much for them. it sounds like the California trip was awesome, and you guys did everything we usually do right? you went to the pier and the Beecroft run and the hawks' place. it sounds like it was alot of fun. and A.J. got his eagle? that's awesome, he's probably very happy that he got it now. well this week was better than last but still it feels like a struggle. i appreciate your letter and advice. I'm just coping with everything right now, i know eventually that things will get better. so this week we just did the same stuff as last week, mostly just tracting and seeing people. transfer info is this week, and i don't know what going to happen. ill let you know whats going to go on. I'm pretty sure that were staying here though again for another transfer. anyway ill let you know. well that's it for now, thanks for everything  i really do appreciate it. that's all for now, bye!
love hank

Excerpt of e-mail sent May 31, 2011

(Lisa's Note: I've often wondered how much to include on this blog.  Some things he's written, were only meant for John & I, and so I've edited some of his letters, but think it's important to mention that he is having a difficult time right now.  What I'm most grateful for, is that he is working through it, "pushing through it", as he'd mentioned several times the past few weeks.   He is constantly in our prayers, and John and I have sent several letters and emails to him full of encouragement and advice.) 
hey mom how you doing?
....I'm just pushing through it and hoping for the best. 
this week has been alright. the highlight of the week i would say is when we went over to the w's  for dinner. we ate some red beans and rice and some frog legs. it was very good. i actually enjoyed it a lot. most of our time here in pass christian is trying to see people that we've met, or tracting. we tract alot. visiting members and other people who are cool and laid back really makes things easier and kind of a relief. its always enjoy visiting with members. well that's about it going on here, hows it back home? That's cool that you guys are in California! California is a cool place, i know what A.J. means when you guys visit memory lane, haha! you guys sound like your doing what we usually do every year, but it sounds like fun..... anyway thanks for all that you guys do and I'll talk to you next week, bye!
love hank

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Excerpt of email written May 23, 2011

Well,  another week has gone by and now its Monday again. this week was better than last. i guess I'm starting to get used to everything going on here. Although i do think of my last area quite a bit once in a while.  this week we had zone conference again. it was awesome, because Elder C was there. it was great to hang out with him at zone conference and take a break you'd might say. Elder C is really cool, and he goes home in like 4 to 5 weeks. after zone conference we had to drive all the way back to the coast from hattiesburg. then on Friday we had shrimp and craw fish, it was good. were not really teaching right now, were seriously doing a lot of tracting. everyday. for most of the day. then we ride our bikes back over the bridge to bay st. Louis. that's like what we do everyday. we haven't seen Shawna since we last saw her but were definitely going to some time. that's mostly whats going on right now.
it sounds like that back home lots of stuff is going on, AJ is graduating and getting a job and you guys are all going to California! that's awesome! that's weird that the hawks aren't going to be there. it sounds like its going to be fun. i got Jeri and dad's letter this week, so the address i gave does work, haha! so you can send stuff to the address. well that's about it for now, ill talk to you later, bye!
love hank

Excerpt of Letter written May 16, 2011 (I've been a bit behind...trying to catch up!)

...those pictures of Vicksburg are crazy! the train station in the first photo, I've walked down the road many times. its right by the levee and the river. that's crazy that the water is that high. yah, most of Vicksburg will be fine, its everything in the delta that's a problem. when i was leaving, everybody was getting ready for it and some people were even leaving. on Wednesday it will be at its highest. well hurricane season starts on June 1st! isn't that exciting? haha, everybody is nervous for each hurricane season.
well this week I've gotten no mail, because we lost our mail key and were still in the process of trying to get another one. so i probably have lots of mail but i don't have any access to it yet because of the key. ill let you know as soon as i finally get it.
well this week was alright, we mostly did a lot of tracting again.  I'm just pushing though it, and hopefully everything works out. i think i forgot to tell you but in my last area in Vicksburg there was this couple in the ward named the B and i found out that they were from Arizona. when they had us over for dinner i asked what part of Arizona. they said they were from snowflake, i said do you know the flakes? they were like which ones? i said Pam and Shon flake, they were like, "yah we know them". i told them that they were my aunt and uncle, they though it was cool, then they said. so you Shiloh and Jayze and Levi's cousin? i was like yah! anyway i was going to tell you that but i forgot until now. anyway that's about it for now, thanks again for everything, and let me know how Carla's talent show goes. talk to you later, bye!
love hank