Thursday, August 20, 2015

Week 8 -- Travel Plans and Last letter from the MTC

We are going to the Czech Republic!!!!

We felt like this day never would come but last Friday we got the plans for us.

We must be to the travel office at the MTC at 2:30 Monday morning. Our flight leaves at 6:55 AM to Chicago. We land at 11:12 and then leave at6:10 for London. We land in London at 8:05 AM and leave at 9:50 AM. WE land in Prague at 12:50 PM. All of our flights are on British airways IT will be a long day or two but we are ready to be there. I will be able to call home in the airport so if that track phone comes through I will call family. IF you could dear elder me your numbers today or tomorrow that would be good or i will just call dad and write them down. WE are very excited to leave. I don't know about calling from London because it might be super expensive but I guess we can see or you can tell me what you would suggest. 

We do you have start packing soon but I think if we start doing that time will go much slower. IT has been kind of a sad week in someways as we have done our last service day. We Had to say goodbye to our two sister teachers yesterday who have really helped us in so many ways and we really have loved. But we are excited to go! Yesterday as i got my food in the cafeteria i ran right into Elder Gallegos. That was pretty fun since he got here early I saw him then and got to talk a little bit. Hopefully i see him before sunday and can catch up a little more. Tomorrow we have infield orientation all day which is about a lot of the logistical things we will be dealing with in the field. Then its just saturday and sunday until we are gone. Sonny George got his visa and left this week too. Monday night i got to talk to him for a while which was really nice. Tomorrow is the last day dear elders get delivered for us and then saturdayregular mail comes but no dear elders. IT is crazy that we are winding up. I got Dad's package on wednesday with the pictures and snacks. That was a lot of fun and later today we are all probably going to bring our food together as we begin to clean up. I also got Shad's queso and the cinnamon rolls from dad. And carries package as well. It was a pretty great last week and Thanks for everyone for sending things. They are always fun. 

Sunday night the Nashville tribute band came to the MTC with guitars and drums and gave a concert. It was pretty different but really cool. All of them but one were returned missionaries and the other was a convert. There songs were all about the gospel and really really good. We sang sang two songs with them in the choir which was also really cool. It was a different night but a lot of fun. The movie that night was from Elder Bednar about recognizing the Holy Ghost. His main message was who cares if it is or isn't, quit worrying and go to work. Press forward and then when you look back you may be able to recognize it. He told a couple of really neat stories in his life. But the best quote he shared was how as a missionary President packer and his wife were in Germany. HE picked them up and took them to the train station to go to west Berlin and write before they got on the train he gave them 20 dollars. Later the train was stopped and searched and they wouldn't let President Packer's wife through. He put the 20 in her passport, the officer left and came back the money was gone but let her through. It wasn't until they got to west Berlin and talked to the stake president that he realized most people that happens to are taken to Prison. Later President Packer said "Its not a bribe, its called righteous exchange." WE all got a good laugh out of that. Tuesday Elder Echo Hawk of the 70 came. He was the secretary of Indian affairs in the cabinet before taking this church position and he had some cool stories. But i may have to confess to missing a little of his talk. IT was still really good.

I learned a couple of lessons about teaching this week. One was to listen. In PMG it says to not think about what you will say next as someone else is talking, or to think about similar experiences that might help. As we are teaching in Czech this is extremely hard not to do because we need all the time to figure out what we will say. However as i tried this and focused on listening the words came and we taught more effectively. Teaching in a threesome is very hard but it has gotten a little better. There are a lot of things that i have learned at the MTC but i know there's much more that awaits. I had my departure interview with a member of the branch presidency on Monday and he had lots of nice things to say. This week in class we talked a little about the vision in our mission and we will have a more detailed talk tomorrow. But we are about 2 or three Melchizedek priesthood holders away from a stake and there are people who could be advanced soon. The work is moving and we could have them advanced at this years fall district conference or at the spring one with a really good chance of having a stake formed at the same time. IT is very exciting. President Uctdorf is from the Czech Republic so we are hoping that when we organize a stake he will come. I am excited for the people and the culture. I love the language even though there is lots more to learn. We only have 4 more days in the United states for two years, but I am ready
Hope all is well,
Elder Hanis