Monday, November 4, 2013

Final Entry

April 18, 2012

Well here is my final entry to my mission blog! I know it's been seven weeks since I returned home but those seven weeks have given me time to really ponder on my mission and realize what a big blessing it was in my life to know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

So where do I begin to start … well finish, my mission blog for all the people who have been following me for the last 18 months of my life! Let me start by telling you about the day I arrived back home! It truly feels like it was yesterday! I remember having a good night sleep in the mission home and waking early in the morning to head off to the airport … but not before first taking a side trip to IHOP to enjoy a final breakfast with President and Sister Crawford! That was fun, even though I really didn't want to eat because I was really nervous about flying, but I thought to myself, “Heck if I can do a mission, I can for sure get on an airplane and fly home!”

Once we arrived at the airport we found out our flight plans had been changed due to weather and we would be flying right into Salt Lake and then on to Idaho Falls which was great, one less flight for me, but the time got pushed back and so I would be getting home later then planned. Needless to say, it was a long day of flying and waiting around in airports to get on planes. My first flight was alright; I sat by this guy from Israel. He was nice but it was really hard to understand the things he was saying because of the language. But me being a missionary I still tried to share the Gospel. Unfortunately he said, “No thank you, I have my own religion and we believe in God differently.”  It made me think to myself, “How can we believe in God differently? Aren't we all His children and isn't He our Father in Heaven to give us all that guidance and direction in life!” I didn't pursue on because I felt it would only begin to be a Bible bash and I don't do that. The turbulence was terrible on my first flight and it took us three times to try to land the plane.  I must admit I was getting scared and gripping onto the arms of the seat and looking out the window and just praying to my Father in Heaven that we can land this plane. Well eventually we did land safely.

There were two Elders traveling with me from Houston to Salt Lake and Salt Lake was their final destination.  We all got off the plane and they went their separate ways to go see there family and I went my way to go find my next flight. I had an hour and half layover before we finally got on the plane. They then had to de-ice the plane which took a whole hour longer and finally we took off into the Utah night sky! It was so beautiful to look down at the earth at night and to see God’s creation! The closer we got to Idaho Falls the more excited I was getting to see my family. I wondered what it was going to be like to see them again and wondered if I was ready to see them. I was really nervous, scared and very anxious to see who all was going to be there.

We finally were approaching Idaho Falls; I could tell because I could see the beautiful Idaho Falls Temple out my window and I knew I was home! I was back home! We landed and it took a bit to get off the plane plus I was like the last passenger to get off the plane! I had bought myself a Cowboy hat when I was in Baytown Texas and so before I got off the plane I put my hat on and said to myself, "Let's Do This!"  Then I started to walk to the exit and headed down the stairs.  As I was going down the escalator I saw a cute sign that said “Welcome Home Sister Emily Hawkins!” (I know I posted it before but I wanted to post it again!)

 Super cute! And then I saw my friends and family. I was so excited! I couldn't believe I didn't cry, I usually cry at things but I was okay. I got to hug my mom first and she was of course crying.
She couldn't believe I was home, she couldn't believe that I did it! That I served a mission! Then I hugged my dad and then my sister Rachel and brother-in-law Jackson. Then my mom said, “Look behind those signs over there.” And I went over to them and out from behind the signs came my nieces and my sister Melanie! I was so excited to see them! I had been told they were not coming until just before I spoke in church so they had indeed surprised me. I got teary eyes on that! I then hugged my friends and it was just so amazing and awesome! I got a Jamba Juice too! Super good! Loved it!

Well it was super late when I finally landed. I was originally supposed to be home at 6 p.m. then 8 p.m. and by the time I landed it was ten o'clock at night. Unfortunately my luggage did not make it onto my plane and so we had to wait until the next flight from Salt Lake arrived which was 11:30 p.m. Thankfully my luggage was on that plane! But it was fun to catch up and be with family and have some Jamba Juice while we were waiting! Yummy!

Because I was so late getting home Wednesday night I couldn't get released until Thursday evening. So Thursday I spent time with my family.  We had to find things I could do while still being a missionary.  Rachel, Jackson, Mom and I started the day off by going to the temple which was great! Later that morning my mom and I went to see some of my friends at my old work while Melanie did some homeschooling with Kadie and Ella.  It was really fun to catch up with some of my friends. Then we all went to the Museum of Idaho and that was really fun hanging out there with the girls. Because I was not yet released, I got to wear my Sunday best and wear my missionary tag! After the museum we stopped in at WalMart.  While at the check out stand I was just totally talking and visiting with the cashier which really surprised my mom because before my mission I would never have done that. All that day I surprised my mom with how much I had change! Later that afternoon when my dad got off work we went out to eat as a family.

Well it came time to go see the Stake President to be released as a full time servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. President Searle was out of town so it was actually one of his counselors, President Hanson, who released me. It was really great to see him. He brought me in first to visit with him and I told him about some of my mission and how much I was missing it and how I wanted to still be in Texas and be in the warm weather. But I know my time is done and I must go on to the next chapter in my life. Well then he brought in my parents and we talked with them and he told them he could see how much I have changed and how there is a light around me that is just shinning bright! Then he gave me a certificate that says I served an honorable mission and also a nice letter from my mission President.  He then said I was released as a full time missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I sat there and I felt different, I knew that wonderful spirit that had been my constant companion for the last 18 months was gone. I still have the Holy Ghost, but he isn't going to be that strong around me like he is when you are a full time missionary. I thanked President Hanson for my papers and we were on our way. I was just crying and sad that I'm not a missionary.

It helped when I got back to the house to have family around. We visited for awhile and then I headed to bed. Before turning in I knelt down by my bed and asked God to help me get through this time. I knew I would need his help to know where to go from here and what to do in my life.  I knew I needed His direction and I needed Him especially now to be my friend. I thanked my Heavenly Father for my mission. I prayed to Him that He has accepted my mission. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me and is proud of me and is deeply grateful for my service. After my prayer I crawled into bed feeling at peace knowing that things are going to be okay! 
The Sunday of my homecoming was awesome!  I had the love and support of many family and friends! I even had three missionary companions come up from Utah as well as one of the Elders who also served in my mission who also is from Shelley. I had fun seeing everyone! 

Here are some pictures of how my parents and sisters and I set up for my homecoming luncheon.

Here are just some of the people who came to my homecoming!

Companion, Sister Mary Brosnahan
Companion, Sister Nanette Singleton

Companion, Sister Sarah Hatch

Me and my gals!

Elder Josh Wilde, Sisters Brosnahan, Singleton, and Hatch

Good friend Stephanie Haywood
Nieces Ella, Rylee and Kadie and their cousin Leah.

Grandpa and Grandma Hawkins, Pat and Carol McCabe 
and honorary Grandma Ida May Hall

I want to end my missionary blog by sharing my testimony. I know that God lives and that He knows each one of us individually and He has a plan for us.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true! This is the true church restored on the earth and Christ will help us in this life to return and live with Him. I know the Book of Mormon is true and it's the word of God and that it is here for us so that we can have that guidance and direction we need in our life! I'm grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and for the things he did to restore God's church on the earth! And it's so amazing that we have a living Prophet to guide us today to receive revelation for the people to help us return home! I'm grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost; he is a companion of comfort of guidance and of love. I am grateful for that gift God gave us when we are baptized with that proper authority! I hope if anyone who reads my blog that has not yet read the Book of Mormon or who has not read it in a while will pick up the book and read it and then ask God if it is true! I know it to be true! I encourage ya'll to do it! :)

Well my life after seven weeks has changed. I am not living at home I moved in with one of my siblings to go to school to get my CNA and to find a job and then figure out the next chapter in my life. Moving to Utah and getting my CNA is truly a big step for me and very different from my missionary life. But I'm so grateful for the blessings of my mission because the tools and skills and the things I learned on my mission have been a blessing to help me make decisions in my life and to help me be the person I am today!

Well I hope you enjoyed my mission blog as much I have! I am grateful to have been able to share my mission experiences, both the triumphs and the trials! Just always remember that God lives and He is there for you! Bye Ya'll! :)

Friday, March 2, 2012


After flight delays, changed itinerary, and a snow storm in Salt Lake, Emily finally made it home about 10:00 p.m. That would not have been so bad except it took another hour and a half and two more flights arriving from Salt Lake to actually locate her luggage!

We had a wonderful time at the airport and considering the lateness of the hour, she still had many great friends and most of her family to welcome her home. Emily is doing well. Due to the lateness of her arrival, she actually got to spend an extra day as a missionary wearing her name tag as she was not released until the following day at 6:30 p.m.

She is now officially released and trying to settle back into her life. For the most part she is doing well but there are moments when it is hard. She dearly misses her mission and also the missionary life and routine, and then of course there are all those questions of “What do I do now?” Lots of decisions to be made in the near future. She has an amazing glow about her though and we are all so grateful to have her home safe and sound. She is one of the most amazing people I know and I am so proud of her and am truly grateful to be able to call her my daughter.

Emily plans to get on her blog sometime and write her own final entry so be sure to check back in a few days or in a week or so.

I know I have said it many times before but we truly are grateful for all the love and support Emily has received both in preparing to serve her mission and during her mission. All missionaries have support, some more then others, but we are pretty sure the amount of letters, support and prayers that Emily received would rank pretty close to the top!! We will always be forever grateful.

For those who would like to send Emily a personal message, she has a new email account at houstonladybird@gmail.com

Emily will report her mission on Sunday, March 11th at 11:00 a.m. at the Shelley 8th Ward (184 N Park)

Here are some fun pictures from the last couple of days!

All her friends anxiously awaiting for her!
(Thanks Danee for helping me make the sign!)

Melanie and the girls were hiding behind the signs!

Totally suprised her ... she had no idea Melanie and
the girls were going to be at the airport!

It had been a long day for Kadie and Ella
(They woke up that day wanting to go to the airport right then!)

New neice Rylee not too sure about all this!

Catching up with all her friends!

Still in shock so many people showed up ... not sure what to say or do!

Her sister Rachel from Salt Lake made it to the airport too!

After such a long day she was really excited
to get a jamba juice thanks to Rachel and Jackson!

Neice Ella trying out Aunt Lou's cowboy hat!

Neice Kadie likes it too!

Dear friend Danee!

Signs to welcome home Aunt Lou!

Yay! She did it!!!

Next day ... still waiting to be released!

Flying the Texas flag in honor of her mission!

Toured the Musuem of Idaho while waiting to be released!

Neice Rylee finally gets her turn with the hat!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Flight Schedule Change!

FLIGHT UPDATE: Emily's flight out of Houston was delayed which meant she was going to miss her two connecting flights.  We received a call from her Mission President and her itinerary has been changed: She now flies out of Houston directly to Salt Lake and then on to Idaho Falls.  Unfortunately she is going to arrive three hours later.  EMILY IS NOW SCHEDULED TO LAND IN IDAHO FALLS AT 9:15 P.M. TONIGHT (FEB. 29TH)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sister Hawkins' Testimony

Just a reminder that Emily flies into Idaho Falls this Wednesday at 5:58 p.m.  Anyone is welcome to come to the airport.  She will report her mission on March 11th at 11:00 a.m. at the Shelley 8th Ward building (184 N Park) with a luncheon to follow at Sunrise Elementary Cafeteria.

Thank you again for all the love and support you have shown Emily and her family during these past 18 1/2 months.  We will be forever grateful!  Be sure to check back later in the week as I will be posting pictures of her homecoming at the airport. Enjoy this final email from Sister Hawkins.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Mom,

Well this is my last letter/e-mail to you that you will be receiving! How crazy is that! I can't believe my mission is over! Wow so many miracles and growth that the Lord has given to me the last 18 1/2 months! I have grown and learned so much about my loving Savior Jesus Christ! I know He lives and that He did come to earth to perform miracles and to be the amazing example to us and to show us the path of which we need to do our best to follow every day! I know the He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and that He went through so much pain for us and has felt our sorrow and our pain! I know that He saw me personally through that suffering! I know that He knows me and I know that He knows you too! Our older Brother Jesus Christ knows everyone of us and we need to do our best as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share this gospel with our brothers and sisters all around us! I know Jesus Christ died for us, He died for me so that I have that chance to return home to my loving Heavenly Father and to my Family!

I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement and what it means to me! I have been trying to put myself in His shoes of all the suffering that He did for us! Imagine people spitting on you, hitting you and calling you names and saying you’re not the Christ. Imagine people being rude, scorning you and beating you. Then imagine being whipped and in so much pain only to have a crown of thorns put on your head and be forced to carry your cross all the way up to the hill where you are going to die! I can't imagine how much that hurt; I can’t imagine that night in the Garden of Gethsemane and how much pain He was feeling and how He was bleeding out of every pore! He didn't complain, didn't lash out and try to defend himself, He just let them do it! He did it because He loves everyone! I know that the Atonement is real! I have learned so much about the Atonement on my mission and how to apply it to ourselves! It's so amazing!

This Gospel is so true! It's been so humbling to wake up every morning and to do my studies and to prepare myself every day of my mission to be His servant in His hands. To go out and to share the amazing message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to share the Book of Mormon! I love bearing my testimony of the Book of Mormon! I love the stories that are in there! I'm so grateful to have learned the stories and to have been able to help apply them to the people's lives here in Texas! How wonderful it is! So, so grateful!

I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and our Savior Jesus Christ in the grove of trees! Have you ever taken the time to really think about the experience that Joseph Smith had at the age of 14, having that strong of faith that Heavenly Father is going to answer his prayer. He goes into the grove of trees and he sees them! Face to Face! How AMAZING!!! And how he got to see them and talk to them and how they knew Joseph and they called him by name! God knows us each individually! I love sharing the experience of Joseph Smith and how we all can get answers to our prayers and how we need to have that faith that Joseph Smith had! I'm so grateful for Joseph Smith and for what he and his family went through to enable us to have the Book of Mormon today! Without his faith, diligence and his obedience to serve the Lord and translate the Golden Plates we wouldn't have the Book of Mormon today! We all need to make sure we take the time to read and study from the standard works and apply them to our lives because the Prophets went through so much so we can have the Gospel and the Scriptures that can truly help our lives today!

I just love being a missionary! Last night I was packing all my stuff and just thinking about my mission and about all the wonderful memories and experiences that I have had and about how much I have changed! The Lord answers our prayers and he performs miracles for us to see that He is real and that He lives! I love my mission and it's so sad it's coming to an end but I'm thinking about the bigger picture! I know there is missionary work to do all over the world and that you don't need to have the cool amazing name tag! You have your testimony and you have the knowledge of the Gospel and you just have to share it with everyone! It's hard to see all my stuff packed up and ready to head back home! All my missionary friends are calling and saying goodbye and wishing me good luck! It's sad, I'm not going to be in the missionary atmosphere to feel the Spirit all around me and to have amazing friends that I can talk to and talk about investigators or what we could do better to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ! But I know there are lots of friends back home and there gonna help me adjust! I'm excited to start my new life; a new young women who has developed her own testimony of the Gospel and has found out for herself that this Gospel is true and does not need to depend on my amazing parents testimonies anymore! Deeply grateful to you mom and dad for helping me grow up in this Gospel and teaching me the things that I needed to know to help prepare me for my amazing mission! :)

Well this week was a very hard week! I have never been so down and really depressed and have never prayed so much in my life! Well you’re probably wondering about Hugo and his baptism … well we had a really great meeting with him on Monday at a member’s home and well, that Tuesday morning he texted us that he needed time to really think about this commitment of being baptized! He told us he is being like Joseph Smith and is praying and asking God if this is what he really needs to do for himself! Sister Cochran and I respected him by giving him space but we told him that if he met with us that we could help him find out the answers and help him with concerns. He told us that he would be in touch! Well, my heart was broken wondering what happened and I just prayed so much in my heart to have the Lord answer Hugo's prayer. Tuesday night and Wednesday morning Sister Cochran and I fasted for Hugo and said many prayers and we have been praying for him. I have been in deep prayer with my loving Heavenly Father pleading that Hugo will find his answer that I might have the opportunity to see him make those covenants of baptism. Well a whole week went by and Sister Cochran and I have had break downs and just cried and wondered why this was happening but we know that this is a stumbling block for Hugo and that this is his trial; every investigator goes through a trial before baptism and this is his!

We finally met him on Saturday and he is doing well but still hasn't gotten his answer and my heart broke in half. We talked to him and told him that he doesn't have to be 100% perfect and that we are all human and we have the natural man in us that makes mistakes. We had taught him some of the commandments on Monday and I think that he realized that this isn't a church that you can just go and do stuff like maybe smoke or drink coffee and so he realized that this is a big thing. He wants to make sure he can do this and he hasn't got his answer yet. I reminded him to remember how he felt during all the lessons and to remember the goose bumps and the warm feeling inside and how happy and joyful he is. He just sat there and paused and I told him we would like to meet with him this weekend to talk and plus I said I would like to see him before I go. So we are meeting with Hugo tonight and he is taking us to dinner. I have been praying that Sister Cochran and I can be the answer to his prayer and help him find what he is searcing for. I know that the Lord is helping him and that one day he will get baptized but it wasn't during a time that I could be here. But I know he will get baptized very soon! So please continue to pray for our dear friend Hugo!

Well Kyra’s baptism was beautiful and the spirit was there and it was a real sweet baptism. Her family who haven't been to church much where also there and she looked so pretty all dressed in white and I know she made the right decision to be baptized! I know that our Heavenly Father is really pleased with her and is going to bless her and her family! When she got confirmed yesterday at church it was a real sweet blessing and the Lord is going to bless her if she keeps the commandments and follows our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ!

Sweet Kyra!

Kyra's baptism cake!

I have learned so much this last week of my mission about faith and prayer and relying deeply on the Lord! There were some down falls and it was a tougher week than all the other weeks I have had with Sister Cochran, but I know the Lord was teaching us to have faith and to rely on the Lord! My Testimony has just grown so much; I'm sadden not to see Hugo get baptized but I'm so happy for Kyra. But it taught me that things happen on the Lord’s time and that Hugo isn’t ready but Kyra was. I learned that they are different people and they have different needs and our purpose as missionaries is to help them come unto Christ and help build their faith in Christ. We need to help them understand how to repent so they can make those promises with God at baptism and receive the wonderful gift from our Heavenly Father, the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We need to help them apply the Doctrine of Christ so they can Endure to the End! I love 2 Nephi 31, the Doctrine of Christ! This is the path God has given us to know the path way in life and how to rely on them. That is what we are teaching all our investigators and Hugo and Kyra. God's children are all different and we need to love and care for them and accept who they are! :)

Man I bet you are just crying mom reading my e-mail to you! You probably never thought I would be like this uh! I know you and the family and all my friends are going to see a new Sister Hawkins, a new girl who isn't afraid anymore and who is strong and independent and has a strong testimony of the Gospel. You are going to see someone who is ready to start a new path and ready to hit it hard and have my loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ next to me to help, lead and guide me! I'm so grateful that I can share my mission with everyone back home and help their testimony grow and help them realize that anyone can be a missionary too!:) I love this work and I love this Gospel and I'm so grateful that I got to share it with ya'll and that I had the opportunity to serve my loving Heavenly Father! I love you and I can't wait to see you on Wednesday! Love you!

Love Sister Hawkins

The Walter family! They are the best ever!

My very last district!

The Sisters at the Hibachi Grill ... a super good place to eat!

Sister Cochran and I out for dinner my last time in Baytown!

A pretty sunset that I am not going to see anymore :(

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One week left!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hi Mom,

Well where do I begin to tell you about my week! So much to say but I feel like I don’t want to tell you everything because then I won’t have much to say for my homecoming talk but I will share the highlights of the week! It's been such a busy week that I just can't believe I am down to one week! Super crazy! I have been so blessed to be on a mission serving the Lord and experience so many miracles the last weeks of my mission! Last Monday was supposed to be zone p-day but it got cancelled the last minute because of the crazy rain that we’ve been having! Super crazy! Sister Cochran and I have been wearing our boots so we don’t ruin our church shoes!

The lessons with Hugo have been SUPER AMAZING!! I can't believe how much he is grasping onto this gospel! I love being a missionary and being an instrument for the Lord to help my dear brother come unto Christ and to make those covenants with God this coming Sunday! He is so ready for baptism; he is reading the Book of Mormon and he is loving everything that he is reading and he so often says, “This feels good! It makes sense!” He really wants this for his family because he knows it will bless his family so much! He is just the most Golden Investigator that I have ever had on my mission! It's super cool! :)

Kyra, the little ten year old I told you about last week, is doing good. She is grasping the lessons but not as well as we had planned so we are still going to be working with her this week! We are meeting with her to continue to help her be prepared for baptism on Saturday. She is such a sweet girl! I love her dearly. She gets excited when we come over to teach her! She is a brilliant little girl!

Well mom I don't know if I have told you about the "Hour of Power" that we are doing with our mission. We go to a member’s home and teach them a 10 minute lesson about Faith Unto Miracles! Then we ask the family to kneel in prayer before we leave to go tracting and then us missionaries tract for an hour and go find someone to teach that lives near them so they can have fellowship in the church! Well when I first heard about the new program idea from President Crawford I was a little hesitant about it but I knew I needed to do what President Crawford asked. So Sister Cochran and I were trying so hard to find a member on Thursday night at 5:50 p.m. to go and teach. Well we couldn't find a member that wasn't busy or at home so we texted our dinner appointment to pray for us that hour because she wasn't going to be home till later but that is the time we are all suppose to do it as a mission. Then Sister Cochran and I listened to the song “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and then we said a meaningful prayer, picked a street and went out tracting! We kept knocking but no one was interested but I just kept thinking about what Sister Cochran had said that day when we found Hugo, “There is going to be a miracle today!” So with that in mind, we kept knocking on doors. Then at the second to last door on the street there were kids and a mom who answered the door and we told the mom who we where and what we are doing as missionaries. She looked kind of hesitant to say yes. Then I felt prompted to say that we weren't from around here and that we left our families to come share this message of the Gospel that will bless your life and your family so much! Then she of course asked where we were from and then she looked at her boys and asked, “What do you think?” The boys said, “Yea we want to learn more!” So we said great and we set up a time to go back and teach their family! That was a cool experience to have with the "Hour of Power." I was so excited! It made the night so much more awesome! The reason why we do it on Thursdays at 5:50 p.m. is because the First Presidency is praying for us missionaries then and usually families eat at that time and they pray for missionaries and also all of us are always saying prayers. So our prayer was answered by finding a new investigator to go and teach the gospel too! :) Miracles do happen when you have faith and determination!

Also we had miracles happen this week with meeting two less active families that haven't been to church in a while. One night we were going to go tracting but I had the impression to go see a family and Sister Cochran got the impression to go try the family that we have been trying to see for a while now. And so we went and tried the Price Family! We saw no cars home but decided to give it a try anyways! We knocked on the door and the mom was home! We were so excited! She let us in and got to know us and we got to know her more. She admitted that she has been avoiding us for a bit because she just needed time for herself. We understood and told her we are just here to help her in whatever way she needed and that we loved her and her family even though we just met them! She told us that she likes us and that there is something different about us which was neat to hear! We got talking about the temple and making those small steps to get back to church! It was a great lesson with the Price Family! We are going to try to see them again this week! I'm excited to see them again!

The other miracle was that another family called us! Ever since I have been here in Baytown I have been trying to see the Soldos and never could see them with Sister Hatch or Sister Higley and so we got a call from them and they said they wanted to see us. So we made an appointment with them which they ended up having to cancel but then made a new one! They are such great amazing people but have just gotten out of the habit of church and they want help back! We had a very spiritual lesson with them! The spirit was in their home and we are also going to see them weekly to help them make those small steps to come back to church! These two families are so special and I am so blessed to see a miracle with them and to have the opportunity to go in their home and to help them feel the spirit and to bear my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that the Gospel will help them in their lives!

This last week has been super cool and even better this weekend to see an apostle of the Lord! That was the best ever! It was a little rough getting to Sugarland because the rain was so horrible. I was the driver and Sister Cochran and the other two Sisters that were with us were very grateful that I was the one driving. It was so cool because before we started our trip I felt like we needed to say a prayer to get there safely and so one of the Sisters said a prayer. On the way the rain was really bad and it was flooding some on the freeway. There was a section where you couldn't tell there was water and so we went into some water that scared us a bit but I stayed calm and I knew the Lord was helping me so much driving that morning! Then a few miles ahead there was a car that had stopped partly on the road as it was going off the exit and I had to hurry and swerve so I wouldn't hit the truck and the Sisters were all scared. All I said was, “It's okay because the Lord is watching over us and we are protected because we said a prayer!” So the Lord was with us driving! It was dark and it was raining so hard that morning but we got there safely to hear an Apostle of the Lord!

Elder Christofferson talked about how important it is to have companionship studies in the morning so that we will be prepared for the day to teach the Gospel. He also talked about our purpose as missionaries! Before the meeting we got to shake his hand and I looked into his eyes and I just felt so much love and peace knowing that the Lord loves me and is proud of me because of the things that I am doing for Him! I had so much fun seeing Elder Christofferson and all the missionaries in our mission! I was able to say goodbye to some of my friends of the mission! So that was a really neat experience! :)

Well that basically was my week; just super busy teaching the Gospel and teaching lessons. I could write about every day and tell you about all the lessons but I would be here for like a week to tell you of all my experiences of being a missionary and seeing peoples testimonies grow and how it's blessing their lives so much! It's super fantastic! I know this last week is going to go by super fast and I am not going to have time to get ready to pack and send stuff home but I know the Lord will provide me a way to get all ready to go home! Mom I will have one more e-mail day next week that will be my last one as a missionary! Just letting you know I will have one more p-day that will be normal and so I will be e-mailing next week!

Oh I want to tell you about a really cool gift that I got from the Galaviz family! They made me a Texas Clock! It's super cool. I will send you a picture so you can see it and also some other pictures that I haven't been able to send of the BattleShip Texas yet and other fun activities that Sister Cochran and have experienced like tracting in the pouring rain! It was super fun! I Love being a missionary! I love it!

Well I got to run and write President Crawford and send you pictures! I love you mom! :)

Love Sister Hawkins!

The Walter Family

I wish I had seen this when I was going through some
of my tough times on my mission ... I think it is cute!

Hanging out at the Stones!

The Stones bought this for me ... super cute!

At a members home ... they fed us!

Battle Ship Texas!

Sister Cochran and I

The group that went to Battle Ship Texas

I love Sister Cochran!

Eye, Eye Captain!

Our Valentines from the Elders ... since we can't eat
sweets we got bananas, grapes and and carrots!

We decorated the Elder's door!

Tracting in the pouring rain!

After we got home from tracting ...
my coat did not help much!!!

Visiting Sister Schaumburger who is back in the
hospital ... we were pretending to be on oxygen with her!