Sunday, February 14, 2016

February 14th, 2016: Training Elder Woodland

So I finally got to meet my trainee! His name is Elder Woodland from Spring Creek, Nevada. He's 19 and played soccer just like me. At President Zarbock’s house when we were waiting to see who our trainees, one by one every person got called until I was the last trainer standing down stairs. So when this 6'-3" big old kid stood up I thought, "Well crap”, Elder Woodland is a super cool guy, we both play soccer and have similar interests. It's amazing to see how in just 4 months on Pohnpei how my language has progressed. Also another thing I just realized is that after this transfer I will be at my 6 month mark. It's crazy to see how much I have changed and matured in such a short amount of time. Seeing Elder Woodland come into the mission and him being a fresh missionary it makes me wonder how much of a "greeny" I was when I came in. I have learned not just the language or how to teach about the Gospel but I have learned basic life skills. I can now start a conversation with anyone and talk about anything. I can register a car, get my driver’s license, buy groceries, negotiate rent, and so many things that I thought would come after I'm married or at least college. All these things and I'm doing them in a different language and on the other side of the world. It's crazy to think just how far away I am from home yet sometimes I feel so close. I can't wait to see you all after two years and see the before and after of all the changes that have happened. It’s weird to train Elder Woodland who doesn't know any language, and just barely learned the pamphlets and the lessons. It has really given me an idea of what parenthood will be like. Having someone come into the world who knows very little about the world they just came into, teaching them how to talk and behave and then teach them to be fearless and go out on their own. It really is like parenthood accelerated by 50x. Granted there is a vast gap between training a 19 year old man and a new born baby but it is giving me a taste of parenthood. It is crazy how fast my mission is going and how fast I am already training. At this point I could train 2 or even 3 missionaries by the time I finish. Whatever happens one thing that my testimony has grown the most in is that there is power in prayer. The more I pray the better the day. When prayer is my first answer to every question it really does make everything fall into place. I know it might seem like common sense but saying it and actually doing it are two different things. Just the other day we did the math of how many prayers we say in an average day and we realized that we say between 25-30 prayers every day. Times that by 730 which is 2 years and you have upwards of 18,250 prayers that I will say on my mission. I never realized what a gift prayer really is and how much it truly does help. I know that sometimes we take prayer as something we do just to say we did it and to check it off our list of things to do. I know that when we honestly pray to our Heavenly Father every morning and every night it won't seem like He's all the way in Heaven, but that He is right there beside us putting His arm around us. I know that God loves us and as we see the world through our Spiritual Eyes and not through our corrupt Earthly, Human eyes, we will start to see the beauty and the gifts we have that we all too often overlook. I love you all and I can't wait to return with honor and say that I did my best. But enough talk, I've got to get to work!  See ya in two! 
-Elder Hanson

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