Monday, December 28, 2015

The Holidays! Plus Tornadoes... -December 28th, 2015

Hey guys!

How was everyone's Christmas? I hope you all had an amazing week:)

My whole week was awesome! The Christmas spirit was real and we were able to do some really good work; visiting/finding less actives, teaching lessons, and doing some awesome contacting. 

Christmas Eve and Christmas day were a whole lot of fun too. It didn't really feel like the regular Christmas I'm used to but it was still really great! Christmas Eve we spent most of the day with a couple less active families and finished the night having a lot of fun at a members. We had an awesome dinner, played some fun games, then re-enacted the Nativity with their whole family. The elders were wise men (of course) and had one part haha! It was a lot of fun though and we ended the night singing some Christmas songs. 

We stayed with some other elders that night and set up some lights and our humble Christmas tree on top of a trash can covered with a white blanket. I'll include a picture, it was pretty cute. 

In the morning we woke up and took turns opening all our presents and packages. It was a lot of fun and we had a really good morning. After that Elder Shurtz and I headed to a lunch appointment we had where I had the immense opportunity to talk to my amazing family;) That was awesome! It was so cool getting to spend time with y'all and get caught up. I love y'all! After that we went over to another members home and ate some amazing lasagna plus some fantastic dessert. 

The rest of the week was pretty busy too which was great. 

Oh yeah, something I forgot to tell y'all about Talladega. The Helen Keller School for the Blind and Deaf is actually right down the road from where we live! So there are quite a few deaf people and people that know sign language around this area. So I've actually been able to practice and try out the sign language I learned from school! It's pretty rusty but it's coming along! There's even a deaf foreign exchange student from Africa staying with a family in our Branch. He's sixteen and we've been hanging out with him a lot and I've been able to try to speak to him in my broken ASL haha! It's been really cool though! 

Haha oh yeah, like the title of this email says, this whole week has been filled with tornadoes down here in Alabama. The warnings started at the beginning of last week and are actually still going. There was an 80% chance at the beginning of last week and it's been continually going down. A couple hit some areas around Alabama but none have been super close to Talladega so we've been safe so far! On Christmas Eve the warnings were pretty high and we were staying with some other Elders so we setup our "safe room" in the laundry room downstairs (they didn't have a bath tub downstairs so we had to improvise). One of the Elders we were with, his name is Elder Svenson (from Canada), he's hilarious and the whole time we were getting everything ready he was running around screaming "The Tomato is coming!" I honestly don't know why I found this so funny but I was dying!

Anyways, we've got a busy week planned ahead of us and I hope y'all have an awesome week too! And a Happy New years!

I'll talk to y'all next week:)

Love, 

Elder Honn
Steadfast in Christ

Pretty bad picture quality.... but this was our Christmas setup!








Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas From Alabama!! -December 21st, 2015

Hey everyone! Merry Christmas week! 

This past week has been very busy! As my mini email a couple of days ago said, I have been transferred to Talladega, Alabama! Which is down south by Birmingham. So far it's been a lot of fun and we've already had some amazing experiences and seen success. 

My new companion is Elder Shurtz. He's from Orem, Utah and has about four months left in his mission. He's awesome and we actually have a lot in common. We're really close already and it's only been less than a week! This is going to be an awesome transfer.

So a little bit more about Talladega. We are actually in a branch and there are maybe 40 people that actually come to church. There are a lot of less active people but the members that do come are really awesome and supportive of the missionaries. 

Talladega is kind of a dying city. A while back it was a pretty popular city but over time it's just become pretty run down for random reasons. We cover quite a lot of country, a couple cities, and quite a lot of projects. So a pretty wide variety of people as you can imagine! 

I'll also have a lot more basketball to play here too, which is just amazing. Haha this morning three other elders and I woke up at 4:30 to drive down to Birmingham to play basketball with some other missionaries at a baptist church. I was thinking we'd just play around and stuff but this was the biggest church I have ever seen. The courts were the size of the YMCA courts and it was serious competition. Haha the six of us were the only white guys there too so it was pretty funny. But like I said the competition was real! There were multiple guys who played college, and even one who played in the NBA for a couple years. I'm pretty out of practice so it took me a while to adjust to the competition but it was so much fun!

Oh yeah, I have been absolutely loving the 12 days of Christmas y'all did for me. And can I just say how much I appreciated the Christmas tree from everyone. It was very touching and definitely made me feel loved. Y'all don't understand how much that meant to me. The presents have also been a lot of fun to open up every day, my family are just so creative!
I'll attach a picture of the tree in my new house:)
I'll also attach a picture of our mini house that we stay in here in Talladega. 

Also, as far as talking this Christmas goes, I'm pretty sure that google hangout will work. I'll just have to figure out how to set it up and make sure it works. I will do that and also find out exactly what time I will be on and I will let you guys know within the next couple days:) I cant wait! 


I'm still learning more and more each day and my testimony of this church continues to grow. I absolutely love this church with all my heart and I know it is the true church of Jesus Christ. And no matter how many people argue or disagree with me day to day, my testimony is unmovable. I love being able to serve the Lord all day everyday and I know that there is nothing else that would be better for me to be doing at this time in my life. 

I love each one of you so much and hope you all have an amazing Christmas week!

Love,

Elder Honn

haha a couple more pictures! This was at our branch Christmas party this last week. A kid won a package of stick on mustaches and wanted us to wear them with him. It was hilarious and we had a pretty good time with it:) I was German and Elder Shurtz was Hispanic! Haha the sisters even joined in on the fun too!




Friday, December 18, 2015

First Transfer! -December 18th, 2015

Hey guys!

I'm just shooting this quick email to y'all to let you know the news! I tried to get on yesterday but my email wouldn't work...

So I have been transferred to Talladega, Alabama! It's down by Birmingham and it's famous for the Talladega Speedway which is a huge racetrack. Pretty cool! So far it's been pretty different from Monte Sano which is what I was expecting. Our area is pretty big and we cover quite a few towns. I've already gotten to play some basketball in the ghetto too! We didn't get to play for long but it was pretty fun:)

Anyways, my new address is:

203 Mary street
Talladega, Alabama 35160

I'll let y'all know more about everything on Monday!

Love you guys,

Elder Honn

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Festivities! -December 14th, 2015

Hey guys! 

This week was pretty busy! 

We started off by having our mission Christmas party on Wednesday. It was awesome! First we had a Christmas devotional by President and Sister Hanks. It was amazing and the spirit was so strong. After that we had an awesome Christmas dinner filled with ham, steak, mashed potatoes, and a bunch of other great stuff! We then had a talent show haha! It actually was filled with a bunch of awesome talent and was so much fun! Then after our talent show we got to watch a regular movie! It's a tradition in this mission that during the Christmas party each year, we get to watch a regular movie all together. Last year they all watched Frozen and this year we watched Big Hero Six! Everybody loved it, especially the sisters. I had already seen it but it was still fun to watch again. 

Then for the next couple of days we were working at the annual Huntsville Christmas Festival! The festival is ran by the church and has gotten very popular throughout the years. People from all over come to this festival, member and non-member, to experience the festivities. The festival consists of an amazing concert, a live nativity, a display of Christmas trees and display nativities, and a Christmas video. It's such an awesome holiday activity and is really good exposure for the church. So basically we were just there helping out in any way and talking to everybody. We weren't allowed to proselyte, which is okay, so we basically just went around talking to everybody for hours on end haha! It was a lot of fun and I loved it! The spirit was and has been so strong this whole week! 

So basically our whole week was filled with the spirit of Christmas and I loved it! 

Then a couple days ago we got transfer calls! Let me start out by saying that this past couple months have been amazing in Monte Sano/Huntsville and I've drawn so close to so many people here. My first area and it has felt like home since I've gotten here. Sadly though, I will be leaving this Wednesday and am being transferred to somewhere else in Alabama! So Sunday was filled with goodbyes to a lot of people that I have grown close to. I'm kind of torn to be honest! I'm sad to be leaving and sad that I don't get to spend Christmas in Huntsville with people that I'm close to but I'm also so excited to experience a new area of Alabama and meet a bunch of new people and missionaries! It will be a new experience that's for sure! 

Shout out to my Momma for waiting all day to hear about whether I'm leaving or not haha:) I kept her waiting for this email and she was a trooper!

Anyways, I'm excited for all the new experiences this week has to hold! I'll probably shoot y'all a quick email in the middle of the week to let you know my new address and where I'll be serving. 

Until next week and Happy Holidays! 

Love,
Elder Honn



Pic: A birthday party with some of the elders for our zone leader, Elder Faustin! 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tracting, Tracting, More Tracting and the Temple! -December 7th, 2015

Hey everyone! 

This week not a whole lot happened! Just like the subject says, we spent most of our week tracting and trying to find people to teach. Which is what most of this transfer has been... but this week it felt like that's all we did! But that's okay, its what you've gotta do to find the people that are prepared here in Alabama! 

Other than that, this week we had the immense privileged of attending the Birmingham temple again. You guys, I love the temple so much. Its beautiful and always such an amazing experience. I would challenge any of you that are able to attend the temple, to go as often as you can. I promise that it will bless your life and help bring you closer to Christ. It's the biggest blessing that I get to attend the temple every couple months and I'm so grateful for it! I'll attach some pictures from the trip:)

Back to tracting, we had quite a few funny experiences this week while knocking doors! 

In Alabama there's a thing where people will yell through their doors and not even open the doors haha! And the phrase that is usually said is "Who it is??" haha It's just hilarious how it normally goes down! So we'll knock on the door and they'll say "Who it is??" and we'll be like "the missionaries!" and they'll be like "who?" and we'll say it again then in the end they'll just end up opening the door because its almost impossible to talk through a door... obviously... 

Then another weird experience is we were tracting and knocked on a door and the person answered and we talked to them and they weren't super nice and declined our invitation to teach them. But as we were walking away, the guy shouted "Hey! Y'all want some candy?" and obviously at first I was a little sketched out haha! But I was like um sure... so we went back and he pulls out this random bag of candy that was unopened and said it was leftovers from Halloween...haha so we took it! And for a while we were tracting and my companion was just holding a big bag of candy... it looked pretty weird so I was decided we were going to use this candy to get into a door and teach somebody! And we did! haha we knocked on the door of a lady and I told her about the candy and she told us she was a teacher at an Elementary school and would love the candy! So she let us in and we gave her a message (she turned out being baptist) and also gave her the bag of candy for her students! Haha it was awesome and we probably wouldn't have gotten into her home if it wasn't for the candy. 

Anyways, those were just a few of the funny experiences we've had while tracting! I've learned to really enjoy tracting solely because of the funny experiences that we have haha!

Anyways, sorry this email wan't full of spiritual experiences but I hope you enjoyed hearing about a couple of interesting experiences we had while tracting this week:) 

I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to y'all next Monday

Love,

Elder Honn




Monday, November 30, 2015

A Week Full of Thanksgiving -November 30th, 2015

Hey everyone!

This week was pretty busy! Obviously it was Thanksgiving as well! Our Thanksgiving was great. We ate at a members home with a bunch of families in our ward, it was a party. It was kind of hectic, and we were late.... so I didn't get to take pictures but it wasn't really anything too crazy! Basically just a Thanksgiving pot luck! All the food was delicious and everyone loaded us down with leftovers! At one point we had four pies at our apartment.... 

And for the rest of the week we basically just ate nothing but leftovers, by ourselves and with members. So the title of this letter applies in two ways! A week full of thanksgiving dinner and a week full of thanks giving. This week, just like most Thanksgivings, we had the opportunity to really think about and be grateful for all our many blessing. And this year particularly it really struck me just how blessed I am and just how blessed a lot of us are. While on my mission, I've seen and experienced a lot of different aspects of life and been around people that have close to nothing. It hit me hard how good I have it and how good a lot of us have it, and how even if times are hard for some of us, there is always somebody out there that has it worse.

I think that because of that, no matter what, we should always try to be grateful for all that we have and all our many blessings and also try to be mindful and acknowledge all our blessing. And not only during Thanksgiving. Doing so will not only show gratitude to our Father in Heaven but also helps us all to be happier and remain humble. President Monson said in a talk titled "The Divine Gift of Gratitude"; "My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven."So that's something that i'll be working on and something that I would challenge you all to apply to your lives as well because I know that It will bless our lives immensely and help us grow closer to Him.

On a different note, this upcoming week is Faith's birthday so a Happy Birthday shout out to her! A while ago she asked me a couple of questions and asked if I could answer them in my weekly email. I thought I'd save them for today and dedicate a portion of my email to her:) 

Basically she just wanted me to kind of take some time and talk about the people here in Alabama. Currently I'm around an area of Alabama called Huntsville. And in Huntsville, because of the Arsenal and the Nasa center. There's a lot of people from all around the country/world living in and around Huntsville.  Because of that there has been a lot of modernization that is different from the rest of Alabama. A lot of people say that Huntsville is just basically Utah in the south... So what I'm trying to get at is that Huntsville area isn't really like the rest of Alabama. So my experiences with "true Alabamians" has been a little limited. But I have definitely had them! Haha
 
Just like everywhere else, there are all types of people. There are the stereotypical red necks that drive huge trucks and chew tobacco but there are also the typical southern families that sit on their porch swing and are extremely welcoming and show a lot of hospitality. And at the same time there are a lot of just "normal" people, quite a few from Utah, that aren't really southern at all!  It just all depends! 

Random funny things about the people in Alabama...For some reason in the south, some black people will pronounce the letter "t" like a "c" in words. So for example we asked a guy for directions a while back and he told us "Oh man, its just scraight down the screet for a mile, you can't miss it!" haha so funny stuff like that make the people here pretty unique. 

Southern Hospitality can be a very real thing though. Again depending on the person. But here in Alabama, its not unusual to greet/talk to random people and even help each other out in some way. I've had a lot of experiences where we'll be tracting and somebody will let us in, offer us food and water, let us sit and relax in their homes but not want to hear about the gospel because they are already strong in their own faith. But at the same time be so kind and show so much hospitality to us, its a beautiful thing. 

Well that's all I can really think of to tell you about the people! Faith, I hope you enjoyed it and that you have a fantastic birthday, cause you deserve it! Love you:)
And to everyone else, make sure to wish her a happy birthday if you see her around and make her feel loved! 

I hope you all have a great week! Until next time! 

Love,

Elder Honn


Pics: The first is of one of my zone leaders. His name is Elder Faustin and he was born in Burundi, Africa! We had an exchange this week and were able to do a lot of awesome work! 
The second is of a very stuffed Elder Larson post Thanksgiving! (sorry for the blurriness) haha too bad we couldn't take a post thanksgiving nap! 

I apologize that I'm not present in the pictures this week, i'll try to get some for y'all for next week!




Monday, November 23, 2015

Our Potential as God's Children -November 23rd, 2015

Hey everyone! 

This week was an interesting one! Sadly, not a whole ton of amazing stuff happened so I'll just touch on the most amazing experience of the week.

On Thursday we got to have zone conference! Which is when all the zones around the north of Alabama come together and receive training and guidance from a leader of some sort. We had the immense blessing to have Elder Edward Dube of the Seventy and his wife come and spend the day with us. And not only that but also our amazing mission president and his wife came and taught us. So the whole day was full of amazing talks, lessons and discussions that really strengthened my testimony and taught me so much. 

One of my favorite talks that was given was from President Hanks. He spoke about our potential as God's children. He talked about how sometimes, in this life, we forget exactly who we are. He said we're not just children of our earthly parents, but children of our Heavenly Father and as such have a limitless potential. We all have the potential to do amazing things in this life. As God's children we have so much capability for good, each and every one of us. And sometimes its easy to forget just how important and how powerful each of us truly are. I really loved this and it really brought me so much confidence to be reminded of such an amazing blessing that we all have. Never forget that you really are a child of God and as such can change and affect this world in so many ways for the better

I'm exhausted so I'm sorry this weeks email wasn't the longest but I promise that next weeks will be better!

I hope you all have a great week and a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Love, 

Elder Honn


Monday, November 16, 2015

Starting Fresh -November 16th, 2015

Hey everyone! I hope y'all had a good week!


Mine was pretty busy and we had a lot going on. On Wednesday we drove down to Birmingham for transfer meeting. It was a great meeting and I received my new companion! His name is Elder Larson, and he's from Colorado! He enjoys long walks on the beach and getting caught in the rain...haha nah just messing! He's actually a super smart kid and loves computers. He's more on the quiet side (polar opposite of my previous companion haha) but he can do this awesome British accent that is one of the best I've ever heard! Because he's a bit more on the quiet side, its given me the opportunity to take the lead quite a bit more than I was expecting, so its been an adjustment that's for sure! 

Because of the business of covering two areas last transfer, we didn't have a whole ton of investigators in Monte Sano so we've pretty much decided to just start fresh. Which means tracting and store contacting and a whole lot of it! Fun stuff! 

It's starting to get colder here in Alabama, and let me tell you, the humidity makes it feel soooo much colder than it actually is. It was only 30 degrees one night while we were tracting and I was wanting to die... So basically, I'm currently very grateful that we have a car in our area and don't have to bike! Cause dang, that would be rough! This winter is also suppose to be one of the coldest in a looong time... so we'll see how that goes haha! I also heard that it snowed in Idaho already! That's just crazy... Maybe y'all will get to have a white Christmas! That would be pretty awesome. 

My message for you all this week comes from Proverbs 3:5-6, and I won't quote it so that you all have to go read it in your scriptures;) If you don't already know it... But I challenge you all to read it and try to apply it as much as you can into your daily lives. When we do apply it in our lives, it truly gives us so much peace and comfort. And already in my mission, i've been able to apply the principle in my work and it truly does bless our lives immensely. Especially in an ever changing world, where so many horrible things are happening, the principle taught in these verses will bring happiness and light into your life. 

I love you all and know that you're all in my prayers. 
Talk to y'all next week! 

Love,
Elder Honn


This picture is of a street sign that I've been meaning to take a picture with since I got here. Ladies and gents, I give you England Street, Alabama haha! In this picture we have my three homes represented! I'm wearing this awesome Boise state sweat shirt that I found at Unclaimed Baggage, obviously the street sign representing England, and it's all in my current home which is Alabama! It just all worked out so perfectly:)




  

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Best Weeks are the Busiest! -November 9th, 2015

Hey everyone! Like the subject of this email says, this week was super busy and it was great! Covering two areas and having two companions has been so much fun! We've been working super hard and been having tons of fun at the same time. The only downside is that we're all just exhausted! But we'll be returning back to normal Wednesday after transfers. 

As far as transfers go, we received our call from the ap's on Saturday night! The news is that Elder Anderson will be leaving, Elder Fulton will be going back to his area and will be training a new missionary, and I will be staying in Monte Sano for at least one more transfer and will receive a new companion! So this Wednesday we'll be driving down to Birmingham for transfer meeting.! I'm really excited to take over and lead the missionary work in this area and learn and grow with a new companion. 

Since we're been covering both areas, this week we've had the opportunity to teach a lot of people and do a lot of amazing things together. The lord definitely acknowledges our hard work and sacrifices and blesses us accordingly. We've been so busy and exhausted all week but we've all just been so happy. Its been a true testimony builder to me that truly when you forget yourself and dedicate your life to Him, you find the most happiness. 

Saturday was especially a great day. It feels weird that i'm nineteen and I guess this is the point where you stop wanting to grow up! haha but on a more serious note, I'd just like to thank everyone for all the birthday present and cards that were sent. It meant the world to me and made my day so great! All the love and support that I was shown made my day a very special one. 

We spent the day in scottsboro, Alabama because i was on the tail end of an exchange. So that morning we had the cupcakes with all the missionaries i'm closest to (picture below) then went out to eat at Paynes, and then went to Unclaimed baggage. Holy cow, unclaimed baggage was having a ski sale so it was packed like no other. It felt like black friday! And you know what it means when there are lots of people? Lots of people to talk to about the gospel! haha so we talked to a lot of people and I even talked to a guy that was a Manchester United fan and was wearing a team sweatshirt! It was awesome. After that we had a dinner appointment with a family that i've been pretty close to since i got here and they made us this awesome meal and got this awesome cake for me with my name on it (picture below). All in all it was a fantastic day and my first birthday in the mission was one to remember. 

On Sunday we were also able to teach Sam and her boyfriend again. They just got this new sounds system and projector for movies and football games so they wanted to show us that. Instead of watching football and other things we sprung on the opportunity to use this new setup they have to our advantage and do something spiritual with it. So we watched some of our favorite bible videos and it was really awesome, the spirit was super strong and Sam loved the videos. So we'll see where this goes:) 

Anyways, sorry this email was kind of all over the place today, i'm just a bit rushed... But i hope you guys enjoyed it!
I look forward to this week and all it has to bring. I also look forward to next Monday and introducing you to my new companion! Until then, I hope you all have a great week! 

Love,
Elder Honn





Monday, November 2, 2015

The Weather Sano Trio! -November 2nd, 2015

Whats up everyone! This week was crazy and do I have some news for you! As of this last Tuesday, I am now in a trio! Which means that instead of having two missionaries in our companionship, we now have three. And that's not all! Since Tuesday we've also been covering and working in two areas! Which has been crazy! 

So basically this is all happening because a missionary went home in our zone ( I don't know why) and so his companion that was left in the Weatherly area joined our companionship and so now we cover Monte Sano area and Weatherly area! Its been pure craziness! 

Since we're working both areas we have investigators and appointments in both areas so the first day we spent a lot of time planning everything out and figuring out how to make it all work. And its been working pretty well so far, we just do a lot of driving... which is fine as long as the Lords work is getting done! Which it definitely is! 

Our new companions name is Elder Fulton, he's from Utah and he's just awesome! He'll be in a couple of he pictures at the end of this letter. Its been so much fun being in a trio and Elder Fulton has added an awesome new freshness to our companionship and i'm so grateful for this opportunity we have to work together as a trio and cover both areas. Even if i have been living out of a suitcase for the past week haha! 

Anyways, this week was also Halloween (obviously) and it was a lot of fun! On Wednesday we had a tri-ward trunk or treat and it was a lot of fun! We decorated our car with the sisters and the Zone leaders and handed out candy to all the crazy kids. We actually used the webbing and spiders that you guys sent me a couple weeks ago to decorate the trunk! Ill include a picture! It looked awesome! 

On Friday night, we went to a members house and carved pumpkins with them and then roasted bratwurst and s'mores around a fire! It was so much fun and ill include some pics of the pumpkins!

Then on Saturday we were able to teach a couple that were Messianic Jews. Kind of a contradiction but their religion is their religion and I respect that. Anyways, we taught them and had an awesome discussion with them and it was their Sabbath so we got to do the prayer to close the Sabbath with them! It was such a cool experience and the spirit was so strong while we both discussed our thoughts and beliefs. 

On Halloween all the missionaries were told to not be out of their apartments past seven unless at a members house, so we went to a members house that was having a party for all the missionaries in our zone. We had chili, s'mores and hot chocolate and played a bunch of games and did origami haha! It was a lot of fun and the members were so awesome. 

Then on Sunday, because we cover two areas, we went to two sets of three hour church.... Which was a little tiring but awesome! We also forgot about daylight savings so we woke up at 5:30 thinking it was 6:30 and got to the church at 7:20 thinking that it was 8:20.... so we sat in the church for an extra hour before anyone even showed up! The one day we could've slept an extra hour and we missed it! Ahhh! But whatever, i'm over it...not really but that's okay.

After church we had two lessons with potentials and ate dinner at a members house! And now its Monday and we have a full week of work ahead of us and i'm so excited! 

I hope you all stayed safe this weekend, had a lot of fun, and ate a bunch of candy! Transfer calls are this Saturday, on my birthday, so next monday i'll let you guys know whats happening this next transfer! 

I hope you have a great week! I love you all so much!

Sincerely, 
Elder Honn

p.s. We made the jello brain with the mold you guys sent and it was awesome! The rest of the pictures will just be from the Halloween weekend!:)





Monday, October 26, 2015

Service and Stake Conference -October 26th, 2015

Hey everyone! This week has been interesting yet again!  

But first a little update on my ankle. It's A LOT better. I finished therapy this last week and it's been getting better and better every day! I can fully walk on it now, without the brace and the swelling and bruising is almost completely gone! The therapist was amazed at how quickly it healed and how well it responded to the therapy. It's been such a miracle and blessing. I know that it wouldn't have been possible without all the prayers, support and love that everyone has shown me. 

So this week, like the subject says, has been full of service. Which has been so great! We volunteer at the Gurley Public library so we got to do that at the beginning of the week, then we went to our weekly frozen yogurt run. While we were there a girl came in and said that she locked herself our of her car and her car was running... How you ask? I have no idea... but it happened. So we called around and spent some time trying to figure out how to get into her car. All the stores that we called were busy or closed and nobody was able to come help. We spent a while brainstorming and asking people and couldn't come up with a way to get into her car. Then the owner of the Chill Factory told us to go ask Bill next door. Bill is the owner of a liquor store night next to the frozen yogurt shop. So we went (didn't actually go into the store) and got bill and told him the situation. Bill is this hilarious old man that has lived in Alabama his whole life. He has hair down to his back and sits on his beat up car outside of his store all day. After we explained the situation to him he explained to us how he was a retired car thief and that we'd be in that car quicker than we could be if we had the keys! And trust me, he wasn't lying! He ran over to his car, got his tools and some wire from another store and was able to pry the door open and get it unlocked. While he was doing this he actually taught me how to do everything too...so watch out. I am now a threat to society. 

This may sound like a pointless funny story but believe it or not we were actually able to do missionary work while this whole thing was going on! The girls that had locked themselves out of their car were actually Pentecostal. So we were able to have some great discussions with them about their religion and ours and were able to actually teach them a lot about the LDS church (all while Bill was breaking into their car lol). So all around that day was just great and I learned a lot;)

The rest of the week was also filled with service that we were able to do and it was awesome! Anything from helping an old man change his car tire to cleaning and moving a 19th century hospital bed for a lady in our ward, it was all a blessing to be able to serve. 

Then this weekend we had stake conference which was the coolest thing ever. Have any of you heard of Elder Fred A. Parker of the seventy? He was presiding at the meeting and I absolutely loved him! I kid you not, he is the closest thing to a Baptist preacher that we're going to get in the Mormon church. It was the coolest. We walked into the Saturday night session early and stumbled into the leadership training that was still going on. My very first thought was that they were having a guest speaker that was a baptist preacher come talk to everyone. But nope, it was a member of the seventy, preaching the word of God to the leaders of our church. At the end of the adult session I went up and talked to him with another missionary. He asked us to try our hardest to have an investigator at the session tomorrow because he was going to talk about baptism and invite anybody that wasn't baptized to enter into the waters of baptism. We accepted the challenge and I pulled out our phone and texted the first investigator that I thought of. We've been teaching him for a long time and the only thing stopping him from being baptized is basically stubbornness. But we love him to death so we've continued to teach him. Anyways, I sent him a text asking if he was coming to stake conference tomorrow. No reply. The next day we show up and he's no where to be found. We go through the awesome conference and at the end Elder Parker talks about baptism and extends the invitation of baptism. We were pretty sad because we hadn't seen our investigator and thought he missed the awesome talk. We close the meeting and guess who comes strolling up to us as we're putting away chairs, our investigator! He explains that he arrived 15 minutes late to the meeting so he just sat in the back, further explaining that he head the whole meeting! We were so happy that he was there and we made an appointment with him on Wednesday to talk about the invitation and what he thought about the meeting. 

This conference was so amazing and I absolutely loved listening and learning from Elder Parker. I know that he is truly called of God and that all the leaders of this church are as well. 

Anyways, regardless of how slow the work is going, we were still able to have an awesome week and help a lot of people! It was a real blessing and a privilege. 

I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Honn 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Slow, Slow Week -October 19th, 2015

Whats up?! How has everyone been?


Like the title says, this week went by so slowly! Its probably because we were stuck in the apartment for a bunch of the time because of my annoying ankle... I think the Lord was just letting me practice my patience and learn that everything is on his timetable and not mine, which is so very true. Even though this week was slow we still had an experience that I'll share for this weeks email. 

While I've been in Alabama, we've befriended a worker at the local CVS (kinda like a Walgreen's) named Sam. This whole time though she had some other missionaries teaching her and her boyfriend. So we just took the times we saw her as times to get to know Sam and be her friend. This last couple of weeks though, some stuff happened with the other missionaries and her and her boyfriend asked us if we would start coming over instead and start teaching them! This was so crazy and probably wouldn't have happened if we hadn't been able to be her friend first and gain her trust. We were able to actually go to her house yesterday and teach both her and her boyfriend and get to know them. The missionaries prior connected more to her boyfriend than to Sam but during our lesson she told us how much our message touched her and she was practically in tears. It was super spiritual and I know that it wouldn't have been able to happen if the lord hadn't provided a way for us to have a relationship with Sam first before teaching her. We're going to continue to teach them every Sunday and I can't wait to see where this goes! 
I know that the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us and that everything that happens is on his timetable.

I hope you all have a great week and I'll talk to you next Monday!

Sincerely,
Elder Honn


Here's a pic of the view of our area at the top of Monte Sano Mountain at sunset, so beautiful! And also a picture of what we were doing this last week or so... ( icing/resting my foot in our apartment).



A couple days ago I was able to ditch the boot and move to a smaller ankle brace from back home. Its been so nice not having to lug that huge thing around! I really feel for you dad and I don't think I could have done it for as long as you did! It's been getting better and better and therapy has really helped. Heres a picture of the bruising and swelling.




Monday, October 12, 2015

The Best Way to Find Yourself is in the Service of Others -October 12th, 2015


Hey everyone!

My week was pretty crazy! Not crazy like awesome mission story experiences crazy but crazy like I'm now in a boot and will be for at least another week.... haha let me explain. So on Thursday night we play basketball with investigators (people interested in the church). We have this so that we can have fun with people and connect with them through that camaraderie that comes with sports. Anyways we were playing a good game of basketball and I went up for a shot under the hoop and came down on another missionaries foot. It was pretty painful and I was in quite a lot of pain until late the next day when we could finally get to a doctors office where they took X-rays and got me taken care of. They thought for sure it was fractured but they couldn't see anything on the X-rays so they decided it was a severe sprain. Which means that I just tore and damaged the ligaments in my foot/ankle. So I was in a boot and on crutches until Sunday then was able to walk on the boot without the crutches(thank goodness, crutches are just the worst). So a chunk of the second half of our week was spent in our apartment with my foot elevated...not too fun. But it did give me a lot of extra time to study the scriptures and feast on His word!

While I was going crazy in the apartment I spent a lot of my time studying the Saviors mortal ministry, focusing on the acts of service that He performed. And that's what I want to focus on today. Jesus Christ truly set the perfect example of how to love and serve those around Him. The whole life of Jesus Christ really makes it clear the responsibility and privilege we have to serve everyone around us. We should all be striving to become like Christ, and I have a testimony that it's through service that we can more fully understand His plan and through forgetting ourselves and serving others we will grow and progress toward the end result of becoming like Him. 

So far some of the best experiences on my mission have been the opportunities that the Lord has given me to serve those around me. Whether this be mowing someones lawn that we met while tracting, or helping a ward member with something they are struggling with. The love and happiness that comes from forgetting yourself and serving your fellow man is amazing. And, like the subject of this email says, the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. I have a very strong testimony of this and can testify that some of the happiest times of my life, not only as a missionary, have been when I was fully engaged in helping others and serving those around me.

I challenge all of you to make that a focus in your life, not only this week but for the rest of your life. Because some of the happiest people that I know are the ones that serve people the most and have dedicated their lives to the service of their fellow man. And I promise that applying even a sliver of selfless service into your life will bless you in so many ways.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great week and i'll talk to you next Monday!

Sincerely,

Elder Honn



Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference and Congestion -October 5th, 2015

Haha I'm pretty proud about coming up with the subject for this email;)

Anyways! Whats up! How was everyone's week? Mine was interesting..to say the least. Here in Huntsville we enjoyed a very rainy and cloudy week. Which I personally loved and would prefer over a scorching hot day any time! 

It was a hard week though. Nothing throughout the week seemed to go our way. All of our appointments cancelled, everyone we tried to talk to wasn't really interested in the gospel and all of our missionary efforts were just not working. We were pretty discouraged. And to top it all off I got pretty sick on Thursday...(hence the title of this email) and thankfully am just starting to get better haha but then, after the rainy and discouraging week comes the massive light and testimony builder of General Conference!! What an amazing thing and what a blessing it is for all of us to be able to listen to the words of the living Prophets and hear personalized counsel for our generation and our lives. I don't know about y'all but conference was exactly the spiritual lift that I needed this week! 

One of my favorite talks was the talk by Larry R. Lawrence. So awesome! Something he talked about, that was exactly what I needed to hear, was asking the Lord "What do I need to improve/work on?". I think its so easy for us to, at times, just shift into neutral and not focus on constant spiritual growth. And the idea of constantly asking the Lord what you should work on next is so awesome to me! Its such a great way to be spiritually proactive. And something that I personally will definitely be incorporating into my life as a missionary and after my mission, so that I may constantly be growing and progressing into the man that He wants me to be. 

I challenge you all to incorporate this into your life as well! Your spirituality and testimony is like a muscle, if you don't use it then you will slowly lose it! Another saying that I love and have used a lot while I've been out is "there is no growth in comfort". Which means that if we're comfortable in our situation and spirituality then we need to reevaluate our lives/situations and make the change to constantly be uncomfortable and growing! I have a huge testimony of the growth that comes from discomfort, which sounds weird but is so true! haha 

I also have a testimony of the importance of living day Prophets and heeding their counsel. These men are truly called of God and the lessons that they teach are directly meant to lead and guide us in our lives. If we let them, the light and comfort that their words can bring will bless our lives immensely. And, while a small example, their words and counsel was a massive light at the end of a hard and discouraging week for me.

This church is true! This is Christ's church restored on the earth today and I love it with all my heart. 

I hope you all have a great week, and I'll see ya'll next Monday:)

Sincerely,
Elder Honn


Here's a pic of the Birmingham temple from our trip a couple weeks ago and also a pic of our lovely apartments! I'll also send another email with a pic of our car (which we recently named Lilly) and the basketball court inside our chapel. The last two pictures were kind of random but I felt bad because I promised more pictures last week and totally forgot so I ran around and took some pictures of some things in my life this morning haha:)





Monday, September 28, 2015

First Transfer? Check! -September 28th, 2015

Hey guys! How was everyone's week? Mine was pretty great! It was a pretty busy week filled with a lot of hard work! And because of all that hard work we were able to accomplish a lot which was so great! This week will mark the end of my first transfer! Crazy! We got transfer calls on Saturday and Elder Anderson and I will be staying in Huntsville together for at least another transfer. I'm really excited to continue the work in this area and get to know the people better!

This week I had a request from the mama to answer some questions about my experiences this week. So I thought I'd make that the subject of this weeks email! 

The questions are 
- What has been your biggest challenge this week?
 One of my biggest challenges this week has been tiredness. The whole time I've been out, I've been pretty tired. But this week we just worked so hard that I was just physically drained and exhausted for the majority of the time. Our work would cut into our sleeping schedule and that made it really difficult. So this week finding a way to overcome my tiredness and have my spirit rule over my body has been one of the biggest challenges. But it was through involving Christ in our work that I was able to somehow find that little bit of energy to keep going and continue in the work. But yeah, I'm exhausted haha

- What has been your biggest concern? 
This last week, my biggest concern has been our investigators. They're really the main thing that I find myself worrying about recently. The adversary can be very powerful and will do whatever he can to push people of the path to Christ and I've seen that first hand since I've been out. Which is sad and hard to see but it just shows how important this work is and how important the gospel is in peoples lives. Why would Satan try so hard to stop something from happening or to distract someone unless what they were originally doing was of utter importance? So that's what my biggest concern has been.

- What has been your biggest success?
I think that my biggest success has been the ability and blessing to be able to talk to anyone and everyone about the gospel. It's something that, before coming out, I was worried about and something that I know I've only been able to do through Christ. Outside of missionary life, people hardly ever talk to other people randomly in public places or just go around knocking on peoples doors to talk to them so it was something very foreign to me. Obviously it's something that i'm still working on but it was something that I was really struggling with at the beginning of my mission and one of the things that i'd consider my biggest success so far! 

- Who has been your favorite person this week? Why? 
My favorite person this week has probably been Elder Ruano. Elder Ruano is one of my zone leaders and I had the chance to go on an exchange with him this last Friday-Saturday. I've really looked up to him since I came out and we got to have some really great discussion about a lot of things that really helped me and made me understand things more clearly. He's a great missionary and sadly he's being transferred out of Huntsville so i'm very happy i got to have that experience with him. 

- What has been your most significant tender mercy?
If any of you are wondering here is a definition of tender mercies that I really love; “The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ” 
So figuring out the one tender mercy that has been the most significant is a hard thing to do. But I would have to say that the most significant in general is the strength I've received since I've left. There have been many hard times throughout this process but they would've been a lot harder if the Lord hadn't strengthened me and carried me through those trials. Whether that strength comes through motivation that I find, a new understanding or in a form of comfort and reassurance there have been many experiences and it has made this huge transition a lot easier and a lot more manageable. 

- What are you looking forward to this coming week? 
Oh man, a lot of things! We have a lot planned this week and so i'm excited for all the appointments we have. We also have dinner ever night this week so you know i'm excited for that! Its also the start of a new month which means our credit cards get topped up which means groceries:) I'm also just excited for all the adventures that this week holds and all the people that i'll be able to meet. So much happens in the course of a week as a missionary and there is a lot to look forward to! One of the biggest things is probably just the opportunities that i'll have to continue to learn and grow this upcoming week. Each week I've been learning so much and I really love it.


- Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
One of the scriptures that has made a huge impact on me this week is Doctrine and Covenants 10:5. The scripture reads  "Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work." 
This week I've been trying to learn how to make prayer a much more personal thing and I've been trying to make it second nature for me throughout my day. I've had many experiences where i'll be struggling or we'll be having a bad day and i'll remember that I haven't prayed since waking up or since the previous night. And i'll take a moment, step back and involve the Lord in what we're doing and almost instantly things turn around and start going well. Its amazing how important it is, especially in this work, to always involve the Lord in all that you do so that you may "conquer Satan". 
It doesn't just apply to missionary life either. There is immense importance in involving the Lord in your day to day life. Proverbs 3:6 says "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." And I have a testimony that if you will do as the scriptures say and acknowledge the lord in your life, he will bless you in so many ways and guide you through the trials and experiences of life. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this game of ask the Elder;) Sadly I don't have any pictures this week because I've been super busy and been slacking on the picture taking. But I promise to be better this week and to take more pictures so that y'all can feel more involved in my life:)

As always thank you so much for all the love and support that's been shown to me. I can't explain how much I appreciate it! I love you guys and hope you all have a great week! 

Sincerely, 

Elder Honn