Monday, September 17, 2012

(HANK)- Hank's coming home! Last email home on his mission.

This is Lisa.  Hank's last emails home are below, but I just wanted to add my own two cents.  As you can imagine, my heart is pretty full right now.  As I read Hank's email, and the one to John, I realized more than ever before, that Hank is a strong young man.  He did something incredibly hard, and he stuck it out.  I can't even describe the feelings I'm feeling right now.  He's an amazing young man, who, as many of you know, doesn't like to have a lot of attention on him.  He loves to be behind the scenes (perhaps that's why he wants to go into movie directing?)...he doesn't like the limelight or fuss made over him.  And he went to a place where he was forced to stand out.  There were many times that Hank had to teach Gospel Doctrine class at church, sometimes without notice.  He organized and coordinated meetings and baptisms, he would be asked to lead the music, teach a lesson or speak, bless and pass the sacrament, and sometimes he did more than one of these things in one meeting.  He taught many people the Gospel, and he also lived it through his service to them.  For someone who doesn't like to be in front of people, he did it multiple times!  There were many other experiences he had that were growing experiences.  He helped people in crisis.  Got in and helped people whose homes were damaged after storms.  He endured things that I can't post on this blog...but it's safe to say that Hank went through some incredible experiences out there, many of them faith promoting but also extremely difficult and trying.  He did a real hard thing, serving a mission in the Jackson Mississippi Mission.  He spent two years in the Bible Belt of the country.  He calls it the "Belt Buckle" of the Bible Belt.  He dealt with racism he didn't realize still existed, sadly, even with members of the church.  That was tough for him to see, and we warned him that he would see it.  But he came to love the people there, members and non members alike.  He never referred to those investigating the church as investigators.  He always referred to them as his friends...and often as "good friends of mine".   My heart is pretty full, and I'm grateful to our Heavenly Father for giving him the strength to do this; to be able to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a place that is deeply rooted in their traditions, beliefs and ideas. I've learned more about the South from Hank than I have ever known my entire life, and without question, it is on the verge of change, as the Gospel continues to grow and blossom there.  Slowly...but it is blossoming, nonetheless.  How awesome that Hank got to be a part of it!   

His emails that he sent home today are below. They are short, sweet, and very revealing on how he is feeling right now! 
He's coming home. 

Email to Lisa:
hey mom how you doing? well this is off topic but i just wanted to say that the heading for the email for my whole mission i believe was "hey mom". i realized that my heading was always the same and i thought i could see how long i could do it. so anyway that's off topic. well i have butterflies right now. this morning i woke up and was like 48 hour left. It's unreal to think about it. right now my hands are shaking as I'm typing and its hard to write haha. i can't believe that i have been out for 2 years. I'm going to be honest i didn't think i was going to make it, or ever go home. i though 2 years was going to last forever and although its a long time. and it felt long in a lot of parts of my mission. its weird to think that it's gone now. i am at a loss of words right now. so sorry for the short letter, I'm just so happy right now. i can not wait to see yall again. this is my last email of the mission and i have often wondered what i would say in it, needless to say this is not what i imagined what i would say. well mom i can't wait to see you later this week. I'm packing today, going to the mission home tomorrow, and flying home Wednesday. and who knows what after that haha. i'll see you at the airport in 48 hours. love ya bye!
love hank

Email to John:
hey dad how you doing? well i just finished my letter to mom and pretty much told her what's going on in my head right now. in a nutshell I'm excited for this week. i just feel so good and happy right now and relieved. dad this is going to be an incredibly short letter. and again I'm sorry for that. i know you were probably expecting a different last letter from me on my mission. but i don't have anything to say. literally i am at a loss for words. i told mom about it its just that my mind is racing a a million miles an hour. thank you dad for helping me on my whole mission. you've always said things in your letters that have helped me out that gave me a little push to stay out. you and mom have done so much for me these past 2 years and i can't wait to see you guys again. well ill talk to you later this week! love ya bye!
love hank

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