Monday, August 31, 2015

Growing Into The Missionary I Want To Be -August 31st, 2015

Hey guys! Hows everyone doing? I've really enjoyed all the emails and being able to talk to some of you while I've been out! Like I've said every week, the support and love that I receive is such a blessing and I truly appreciate everything! You're all so amazing and I love every single one of you!:) 

This last week was just fantastic! It was my first full week in Alabama and I loved almost every second of it! 
Wow I don't really know where to start, so much has happened! I think from now on i'll probably just do a short summary of each day and try to highlight the most important parts:)

You last heard from me on Monday, but I can't remember if I told you what happened to my companion! So we took a break from our writing and went to play some basketball. We were playing one on one and I spun around him and he went for the ball... The front of his head hit the back of mine and his glasses broke and cut his eyebrow pretty bad. He immediately started gushing blood all down his face and neck. It was crazy how much blood was coming out, it was freaking me out haha! We ran to the bathroom to try to get the bleeding to stop and it eventually did. We bandaged up his surprisingly big cut and called it good! Later that night I used the super glue provided by my "greenie" package and fixed his glasses! So everyone was happy! Especially Elder Anderson because he thinks it will turn into a cool eyebrow scar haha! 

On Tuesday we tracked for the beginning of the day, then went to the Chill factory (free frozen yogurt). After the chill factory we started doing some store contacting in publix, which i love, and eventually got ushered to leave haha! Publix is a grocery store and we're not technically allowed to teach in their stores but if someone comes up to us or starts a conversation then its not our fault haha! But yeah anyways some managers came and "ushered" us out... but whatever, they didn't say we couldn't come back!;) After that we went to our Tuesday night basketball! We basically do the same thing as the Elders in England! We just invite anyone and everyone to come play basketball with us and have fun then transition into teaching them! Its such a great way to get to know people and help them be comfortable around us to be willing to be taught! That night we had a good turnout, one of our investigators named Russ came and he had a lot of fun and we set up an appointment to teach him! He's sixteen and was actually a referral from his "girlfriend" in our ward! He was totally willing to learn the gospel, and I really hope he continues to progress! Anyways right when we started playing basketball, Elder Anderson was hit in the face with the basketball! His glasses were just demolished and he ended up cutting his other eyelid haha! He was fine but his glasses were not savable... Good thing he had an extra pair at the apartment and was only blind for a couple hours!

On Wednesday I went on my first exchange, which for anyone who doesn't know is when you basically switch companions with another companionship for a night. We switched with the zone leaders, so I ended up going into their area and being with Elder Virtue. I was a little apprehensive because I wanted to focus on our work in Monte Sano but it actually ended up being a lot of fun! We visited a bunch of good people and taught three lessons throughout the day! It was cool to get to know another elder and to spend some time in a different area! We also ate dinner with a true Alabama family, and it was so awesome! We had Chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes and it actually felt like I was in the south! They were the nicest people ever and told us some amazing stories about their conversion! They were true southerners and it was a perfect end to the day!

On Thursday we had district meeting, which is basically just training and discussions. After that we went to this pretty country restaurant called Pike Vile! They just sell burgers and fries, kinda like in-n-out, but holy cow it was so good! It was a hole in the wall type of place in the middle of nowhere but it was one of the best burger and fries I've ever had! Later that day we took a member named Brother Mazanis to teach an investigator for the first time. His name is Scott and he's a member of Church of Christ. We actually met his wife first from a referral and she said he had a lot of questions about our church. So we went into it thinking he was just going to try to bible bash with us the whole time, but he didn't! He was so respectful and just wanted to learn! He knows the bible so well and had a lot of questions about our religion and the Book of Mormon. He's a very religious guy with a lot of knowledge but we were able to teach him so much and have some amazing discussions with him. And we're going back this Thursday! He's a policeman and has two other jobs so Thursdays are the only days that work for him but i'm so excited to teach him more! He just kept expressing a desire to learn more about god and which religion was true, it was so awesome! 

On Friday we didn't really do much, we contacted a lot and tracted a lot. But we had an awesome dinner with a part member family, and he picked us up in his Camaro! Which was fun and instantly gave us something to talk about! We had such a fun night getting to know their family and we're going to try to go back and teach the husband! Their daughter was obsessed with one direction, so I was semi able to communicate and talk to her about them because of Faith haha! I know faith isn't obsessed with them but i still knew some stuff about One Direction that I probably wouldn't have if it weren't for faith! 

Saturday was very slow and long. My companion got pretty sick so we weren't able to do anything for most of the day. I studied and read quite a few books and cleaned the apartment some more. I tried to still be proactive and doing things but there was only so much I could do. I read A LOT of the bible though haha! I decided I'm going to read the whole standard works so that I can better understand all the stories and testimonies! That night I got the first CD of the Nashville tribute band and it was so great! I hadn't heard the whole redeemer CD so it was great to hear it all! It makes me feel so country when i'm listening to it haha! Such powerful songs and their just amazing singers so it brings the spirit so easily and just instantly! Thanks so much for that dad!

On Sunday we were pretty busy, which is pretty normal! We had meetings in the morning then church. One of our investigators named Tony came to church and loved it! He was even taking notes! haha I wasn't even taking notes for all of it lol! We're actually going to teach him after this! He's so awesome and he's from Idaho and I really feel like he's going to be baptized here soon. Such an awesome guy! Anyways after church we went an ate at a member then went with the member to go give a blessing to a man in the hospital. I provided the oil, my companion anointed him and the member gave the blessing. It was a great blessing and the spirit was so strong. After that we went to a Stake Priesthood meeting and heard from 5 church leaders, all of different callings. Some stake leaders, some patriarchs, and even one of our mission leaders! It was a great meeting and I got to meet all the Elders in our zone, which was awesome! 

Today is Monday (obviously) and today we had a zone activity! We have 22 missionaries all together in our zone! Like 6 sisters and 16 Elders! We played volleyball and kickball and it was a lot of fun! It was great getting to know everyone and I already feel like they're my family here! After the activity and goal setting we went to this restaurant called Steak and Shake and wow, so good! I don't know what it is but there are so many good burger and fry places down here! I had a portabello burger with fries and a Oreo mint cookies and cream shake! It was just fantastic! You guys would just love it! Maybe ill take you there when we come visit after these two years! 
And yeah, now i'm sitting in the church writing this email haha! 

Its been such a great week and its hard to write everything that happens but i'm keeping my journal so that ill be able to remember everything! A lot more things happened and maybe ill talk about them next week but this is it for this week!:) 

Its only been two weeks but i absolutely love being a missionary and being a tool in the Lords hands. I've come to understand and feel the true happiness that comes when you're in the service of Him. Its absolutely amazing. Its hard being away from people that you love so much but there isn't anything i'd rather be doing for these two years! Because I know that this church is true and because I know of the feeling that the gospel can bring into your life, all I want to do is share that feeling with everyone I see! The gospel blesses lives in ways unimaginable. And i'm honored to be able to be used by Christ to bring those blessings into peoples lives. 

I love you all. And like always, i'm sorry if I didn't reply to your email or letter this week. I'm trying my best and will respond to the others next Monday! Thank you so much for the letters and I can't wait to talk to you all more next week!

Sincerely, Elder Honn

p.s. here are a couple pictures of my apartment! I didn't take any picture this past week but ill try to do better this week! For now enjoy my comfortably tiny apartment:) 

Monday, August 24, 2015

FIRST WEEK IN ALABAMA!! -August 24th, 2015

Whats up everyone!? (Today is my first real p-day so i've had some time to reply to some of your emails but i'm still in a bit of a hurry today so ill reply to the rest next week! Sorry:/)

Let me start by just saying I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I've had an overwhelming amount of support and its helped and strengthened me so much! I couldn't thank you all enough for everything!

Wow, where do I start?! So I got to Alabama last Tuesday and stayed in a super nice hotel that night and got my own room because I didn't have a companion! But the AP's hung out in my room and I got to know them pretty well. They gave me some great advice and really helped calm me down. I was a little freaked out because President Hanks gave us a little welcome fireside at his house and according to my the missionaries in my district he was trying to scare us a little... But we talked about some crazy stuff, so it was nice to get a good nights sleep in a comfy bed and spend some time by myself.

The next day was the transfer meeting where we had a devotional then we received out new trainers and the other missionaries transferred areas! My new companion/trainer is Elder Anderson and hes been out for just over a year and he's so nice and has taught me so much. Ill add a picture of him too so you can see what he looks like! He was born in Idaho too which is pretty awesome! Anyways I was assigned to the Monte Sano ward in Huntsville, Alabama! Which is one of the most wealthy areas and wards in the mission (because of the rocket nasa center thing). But after the meeting we drove two hours to our apartment. And lets just say I may be in the most wealthy area but my apartment and the city its in, is the exact opposite of wealthy... I would take a picture of the outside of our apartments but I decided it would probably freak mom out so I decided to just not include that lol! Just know that i'm safe and definitely being protected and it took me a couple nights to realized that but i'm completely fine with it now! Anyways when we got to our apartment, it was a complete mess because the elder I was replacing was a pile (if you don't understand that reference, ask Peter haha) at the end of his mission so the apartment was a mess sadly. So when we got there I spent like two and a half hours cleaning and throwing away all the junk that was left haha, it amazed me how someone could live in such a messy apartment! (no jokes about my room back home mom lol) Anyways when we finished cleaning it felt a lot more comfortable! And compared to the outside of our apartments, the inside is actually pretty great!

The next day we did a lot and was basically just spent showing me the ropes of tracting and everything else! We tracted for about four hours and only got into one house... So the first day was a little discouraging but my trainer explained to me that there will be good days and bad days, which I was expecting but wasn't really prepared for.. But we got to play a little basketball at the church that night so it made up for the unsuccessful tracting!

The next day was a bunch better and we actually talked to quite a few people while tracting but didn't really get into the houses... We would just catch people outside of their houses and they wouldn't be able to avoid us lol! Later on in the day we were walking down a driveway after being rejected and this lady and her family drove into the house next door. Her kids jumped out of the car and started playing basketball in the street while their mom turned on some music for them. Instinctively I went over and asked if we could play with them! They were really outgoing kids and said they'd love that! I played basketball with the three kids (Will, Katie, and Addison) while my companion talked to the mom and we all got to know each other and had a lot of fun! We ended up teaching the mom some stuff and giving her a book of Mormon and she was super excited about everything we had to say! We set up a real appointment and we'll be seeing them this week hopefully! She even said she wanted to come to our church but couldn't yesterday because she was busy! It was so awesome and really helped lift my spirits! This was pretty rare because in Alabama everyone has their own religion and is perfectly comfortable with the knowledge they have. So its actually pretty hard to actually get into peoples houses! There have been a couple really nice people that we talk to and they respect what we do but still don't want to hear about our lessons. It can actually be pretty entertaining knocking on peoples doors because in this mission we've been told to be original and not just recite a door approach each time. So we will literally say so many things just to interest people to keep them from shutting the door in our faces! lol my companion is super into puns and he can come up with a pun at any door we knock on, and i'll just ask some weird question or just say some weird thing haha so it can be entertaining at times! We knocked on a door and this lady opened and said "we're baptist" and started closing the door and I just said I had some questions about the MG in their garage and she kinda stopped and looked at me and was like "okay, its my husbands, so ill go get him. Only cars though, no religion!" And I was just like okay then haha and we talked to her husband about his collector MG for a couple minutes and left! Haha with people like that we basically just try to make a good first impression and make them smile if possible and call it good! Anyways i'm running out of time so ill kinda give a shorter summary of the days now...

On Saturday we did a butt load of service and helped a bunch of different people with a bunch of different things. Were in the poor areas a little and we were in the rich areas a little, just all over the place, helping with a bunch of stuff which was great! We helped this guy named Pat, which ill talk more about next week!

On Sunday my comp and I spoke in sacrament. We spoke about Christ and it was great! We had lots of people compliment us after and we even got a couple referrals to investigators that the ward members had been saving for the "right" missionaries! It was so awesome and really touched me that the ward members trust me with their close friends that they care so much about! After sacrament we went to a member house and ate dinner. Btw the members in this ward feed the missionaries A LOT! So since i've been here, i've had three dinners appointments and have one ever night this week along with some lunch appointments too!! We haven't even had to go grocery shopping yet haha (other than some cereal) So basically don't worry if im getting fed cause ill probably end up gaining weight in this area lol which is worrying me but whatever, im working out every morning and playing basketball twice a week so it shouldn't be too bad!

Today is my first real p-day and its been great so far! We went on a hike this morning (picture included) and then got food and went shopping and came back to the church. We played some basketball and have been emailing too. We have a car but we have limited miles so this coming month we'll be driving some places and biking to others! So mom, we can play the cd's in the car if you decided to send them! Maybe along with some more ties?? I'm discovering that I didn't bring nearly enough ties :/ Lol little side note a different pair of my pants ripped, so I had to sew them too haha! So today I went shopping and bought some regular, non skinny/fitted, pants so that I wouldn't have to worry about them ripping lol! Ive decided right now function is more important that fashion so yeah haha

P.S. I absolutely loved the "greenie" package you guys sent me! It was so amazing and creative and really lifted my spirits and made me and my companion laugh! Especially the marijuana test that Peter picked out lol! You guys are so amazing and i'm so grateful for my amazing family that i'm so blessed to have and be so close to! Love you guys so much!!

I'm sorry I was a little rushed this week too but after this week I should have a bunch of time to email! Like I said earlier, I love you guys so much and I appreciate all the support and love so much! Ill talk to you all more next week!!

Elder Honn

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Just Got to My Area! -August 19th, 2015

Hey guys! 

I just got to my area! I'm serving in the Huntsville area! Which apparently is the best area in the mission and its really nice as well! haha my trainer is awesome, his name is Elder Anderson and he's a really nice guy that's been really great so far. He's been here a year and a month and already has so many stories. Anyways Ill write more in my actual weekly letter, but this letter is just to tell you where I am and my mailing address. 

My mailing address is our actual apartment and its 176 gate street apartment 15, Gurley, al 35748 

So you'll be able to send my stuff directly to my apartment and not through the mission office! By the way, thank you for my package and bike, the bike is super nice and the missionaries assembled it for me so I just had to pick it up! Thank you so much for everything and I'll talk to you on Monday!
Elder Honn 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Last Few Days in the MTC! -August 14th, 2015

        What's up?! Its finally P-Day again! The end of last week felt sooo slow but as soon as you hit Sunday the time just go by so quickly! The days feel very very long though no matter what... its probably because they are! Hahah we wake up at 6:30 everyday and get to bed around 11 every night... So the days are very long and the nights are very short. Which has been hard but i've found that as long as i'm feeling the spirit and being anxiously engaged in what we're learning about, then I don't have issues staying awake! It's been a huge blessing because I was really struggling with being tired earlier on in the week and as a district we talked about how we can literally give any of our burdens to Christ and if we have faith he will make those burdens lighter! So as a district we all knelt down and prayed and asked heavenly father to take this tiredness from us so that we could be more receptive to the spirit and be able to focus more on His work. Literally as soon as I said amen, I wasn't tired anymore. It was absolutely amazing! 

      All throughout the week, i've learned so much its amazing! You guys wouldn't believe how much you can learn when you're being guided by the spirit and doing the Lord's work! Through the Lord, anything is possible! We spend a lot of time in our class throughout the day. Either having discussions or being taught by our two amazing teachers. Our teachers are sister McManama, and Sister Kline, and they're so amazing. They have helped me and everyone so much throughout the week. They're both returned missionaries and have amazing testimonies and experiences! 

     Earlier in the week everyone in my district was struggling with something and we all felt prompted to stop our discussion and offer everyone blessings. We gave about 7 blessings at that time and it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. The elders would bless their companions and the sisters would ask an elder to bless them. Elder Rosenow asked if I would give him a blessing and I was so happy, because I knew he had been struggling with quite a lot of things. I cannot explain in words the feeling of the spirit in that room, even before i gave Elder Rosenow his blessing. The blessing that I gave was about 6-7 minutes long and it talked about so many things that he needed to hear. But what I want to focus on is the feeling that I had while giving the blessing. This blessing was the most physically real encounter that i've had with the spirit in my life. It talks about how in the scripture that at times the spirit would be so strong that your frame would literally shake. And I experienced this. You all might be thinking that this was just nerves, but I was completely calm and my hands were completely still. I know that this was truly the spirit physically working through me, to tell me the words to say, to bless Elder Rosenow in his struggles. 

     I've had so many spiritual experiences throughout the week, its been so amazing and such a blessing! At the beginning of the week we started this thing called TRC which is were people volunteer to act as investigators for the missionaries to teach. Our companionship's investigators are Lisa and Elsie! They're both amazing! Elsie is about 22 and super nice. Lisa is in her 60's and is the sweetest lady ever! TRC is basically super realistic role playing. Both of investigators act as investigators and never brake character. So all throughout the week we've been teaching them and helping them learn the lessons. We've had a harder time teaching Elsie because she doesn't give much feedback since she is shy and closed off. We came up with some awesome questions that would force a normal person to talk for a while and open up but somehow Elsie always figures out how to give us, at most, a ten word answer. Which is hard because we need her involvement to let the spirit touch her and help her learn. But she's accepting everything we teach her and is apparently understanding it all! 

    Lisa is the exact opposite. Every time we've taught her its been so spiritual and been such an amazing experience! When we first met her we bonded super quickly and came to love her so much in the first 30 minute lesson. And every since then I look forward to teaching her every day, and all I want to do is teach her and help her come closer to Christ. I could talk forever about the feelings that we've been having but I don't have very long to email. Basically, every lesson has been packed with the spirit and has been so amazing! She has such amazing questions and the spirit basically just completely takes over and teaches her what she needs. Its been amazing every lesson. And has truly changed my life. And last night was so spiritual again and i felt prompted to invite her to be baptized and she said yes! It was amazing and we were all balling because the spirit was so strong! As we were walking back to our dorm, I started getting emotional again because even though this TRC is just role plying, this is what i'll be doing out in Alabama, in real life, and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. The Lord will be using me to change peoples lives and thats all I want to do in life! I'll talk more about our TRC experiences when I actually get to the field and have more time to write! 

    It's our first real P-Day today which mean we get to go to the temple! We're all so excited, and i've been waiting all week for this! Thank you so much for all the letters, emails and support. You guys, its means the world to me. Its so nice to come back to the dorm after a long day and have a letter from one of you telling me about stuff. Please do not feel bad for writing so much or for writing long letters! I love it so much and its been a huge blessing while i've been here!! I want to hear about anything and everything! I'm just sorry I don't have time to reply and respond to everything that you guys tell me about! I'm keeping all the dear elders and maybe ill have time to reply to them when i get into the field! 

Cami- i'm so excited for you and Peter! I've been praying for you and hope everything goes well as you make this huge transition in your life. 

Faith- That was an awesome thought! Ive been praying for you as you do registration and get ready for a new school and go into volleyball! I know everyone there will love you and I do too!

Mom and dad- As always there is so much i have to say to you guys but no time to do it!:( Thank you for all the letters and thoughts and everything you have said and done for me! The pictures were great and thank you for sending my oil and my blessing! Like i said earlier i'll be able to reply more personally when i get into the field! But please don't stop writing me! I LOVE hearing from everyone!

Everyone else- I love you all and have been praying for you all! I really appreciate all the support and kindness you've all shown me! Its given me so much motivation to keep working and never give up! You're all amazing and i promise i'll reply to you all individually when I have more time in Alabama!

Speaking of Alabama I leave on Tuesday morning!! Crazy, I know! But because i'm leaving I get to call home so be expecting a call sometime in the morning! I'll try to do it when I get to Atlanta so i'm not calling you guys so early! I don't know the schedule though so it might be before I leave salt lake! 

I'm so excited to get out there and start teaching real people! The MTC has been great and i've learned so much but I just want to be in Alabama, doing the Lords work!! 

The computers aren't working and won't let me attach pictures so i'll have to send a bunch next week:(

Love you guys so much! 

Elder Honn

Friday, August 7, 2015

Suprise! -August 7th, 2015

Hey! Bet you weren't expecting this! haha so apparently our p-days are on fridays while i'm in the MTC, so this Friday and then next Friday then after that its should be Mondays

Wow, i don't even know where to start! Everything has been pretty crazy! I guess ill just start from when you guys dropped me off! So i was ushered around a whole lot of places, getting my name tags(which i love) and a whole bunch of other books and papers. I was then shown where my room was and taken to my class. This is my main class where we are throughout the day, and its kinda like our home base. We have two RM sisters that are our teachers and kinda lead us in lessons and discussions. After a while my MTC companion came into the classroom and i got to meet him! His name is Elder Rosenow and he's pretty great. He's a little shy but only when there are more people around than just him and I. He's a tiny bit taller than me and he's pretty skinny but he has the softest spirit and one of the first things he told me was that he was a cryer haha! I told him my mom was too and that i was used to it!;) Elder Rosenow is serving in the Irvine, California mission along with two other missionaries in our district. Our district consists of me and my companionship, two other elder companionships and two sister companionships. So there are six elders and four sisters! Two of the other elders are also going to California with elder Rosenow and the other two are going to Alabama with me! Elder Muaka and Elder Briscoe are also serving in Alabama! So basically me and my companion were probably extras so they just stuck us together even though we're not going to the same mission. But i'm grateful we were stuck together because i fully know why. I was called last night as the senior companion and I had a feeling that would happen since the first night. Elder Rosenow is awesome and has an amazing testimony but he lacks the confidence in himself to trust what he's saying. So I know that we were made companions so that i could help him, the best that I can, to feel more confident in himself and the spirit and kinda break out of his shell. Its only been two days but his teaching has already improved so much and he's letting the spirit guide him and tell him what to say. Its awesome! The rest of the first day was kinda a blur to be honest, but we had a mini get to know you/testimony meeting at night and it was great! 

The second day was better and less hectic! The first day everyone said that we looked like deer in headlights and I don't doubt it at all. There was a lot to take in! But the second day was easier. We had a bunch of classes and discussion and they were all great! I actually led an hour discussion with just our districts and no teachers. It was great and everyone's testimonies grew. The rest of the day was really more amazing classes. We did some role-play with other missionaries and practiced asking people if they would be baptized during the first lesson, and we practiced what we would say if they said no! If they said no then they had to have a reason and we would have to teach by the spirit and try to fix or reassure them about their issue with being baptized. It was great, and even though it was just role playing the spirit was so strong! The spirit had been strong pretty much 24/7! besides when immature missionaries are running around the but i've been practicing my patience! Waking up early has been hard and i've pretty much been tired since i got here! haha but i know that it will get easier if i obey and throw myself out of bed every morning at 6:30! The food has been good but i haven't really been too hungry yet... my body is probably still adjusting to everything. So much has been happening but everyone says that things should calm down today. Today is our p-day but not really cause we only have p-day until 12 then its back to classes and what not. So its basically just a break where we can write home and do laundry... My gray pants actually ripped a tiny bit yesterday! So im gonna try to figure out how to stitch that up today also ahah. 

Its only been two days but i've already learned so much and I just cant wait to get out into the field and start teaching the Lords gospel!! Ill try to email everyone as much as possible but we only have an hour and although that may sound like a long time, its really not when you're writing! I miss you guys already and really appreciate the letters so far. It was hard yesterday because i was so tired and when i'm tired i get easily emotional and i had to kinda hold everything in while i read the letters because i was surrounded by other missionaries that were just hanging out. Haha but i managed to do that and they were great! I don't really know how to go about writing everyone... i'm gonna try to respond to everyone individually and write my weekly report in a main letter.
Im praying for all of you and i appreciate all the prayers for me! Im really gonna need them haha

Elder Honn

*If you would like to send Elder Honn a Dear Elder letter (which are delivered every day to the MTC!) His unit number is 225 :) Thank you for supporting our Elder!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Elder Honn -August 4th, 2015

Hey everyone! It's time! I couldn't be more excited to start this amazing journey and serve the Lord for two years! The gospel is so beautiful and I can't wait to share the comfort and joy that this church can bring with the people of Alabama! I feel so blessed to have been shown so much support and love from everyone. It truly means the world to me. I love you all so much! God bless each and every one of you, I'll see y'all in two!
If you want to follow my journey, my sister has made a blog and will be updating it weekly with my emails! 

Also my personal missionary email is
Ill be able to write and respond to emails every Monday and I'd love to hear from you guys while i'm gone!

Elder Honn