Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010 email

I am so excited to be able to post this letter from Sister Hawkins.  It is a long letter, but a great letter about all the missionary work she is doing.  Things are still hard for her but she is doing so much better.  The Lord is with her and putting people in her path that are helping her to see just how amazing and strong she is.  Thank you for all your love and support ... Emily loves all her letters and words of encouragment!  They are making a difference!  Enjoy her latest letter and pictures ...

 October 25, 2010

Hey Mom,

Well this week has been good in some ways and hard in others. Last p-day it was good to be able to write to you. I wrote to both sets of Grandparents and to Aunt Bethy and to some friends and Sister Bolander. But I had a good p-day. That night was a good night as we met with Nae. He is a deaf guy in the branch. I don't know if Melanie told ya but she sent me a sign language book but I haven't gotten a chance to study from it. But it's cool to see Sister Smith sign to Nae. She knows some sign language! Then we went to go see this Catholic family! There are so many Catholics down here, it's crazy. Its weird how many different religions there are. But this family is really nice and they fed us. We didn't know they were going to but they love the Missionaries even though the mom says we won’t convert the family. We had an interesting visit with them talking about God's plan and she thought it was interesting that we believe that God has a body of flesh and bones. Luckily Sister Smith knows everything what to say. I said a couple of things but it just strengthened my testimony more to know that God has provided a plan for us and that He knew us before we came here on earth. But we didn't get them upset; they just like talking about their faith and ours and to see how ours is different. It was neat to experience.

On Tuesday we went and saw Ethel Joseph. She is a new investigator and she lives in Lake Arthur and has a 5 year old son. We taught her the first 2 lessons and she seems to like it. Her life is a struggle from her past but she wants to come to church and to learn more but she is struggling right know with some health problems. Hopefully she will get better soon. Later that day we went to Iowa and met with Sandy Broussard. Mom, I love this lady. She is so cool! Next time I see her I will try to get a picture with her. But we have taught her the first lesson and watched the Restoration video with her and read some from the scriptures. She has lived a pretty tough life. But this lady Sandy has changed so much and she has a deep faith in the Lord and loves it when we come and see her! She has a big fish that she pets and plays with and the fish sucks her finger -- no lie! It's was cool. She also feeds her fish other fish for treats. But anyways she is amazing and I think one day she'll join but she is interested a little bit.

Tuesday night we ate dinner at the Touchets home. I love going over there. We always have so much fun. We talked about weight and she saw me in Wade's wedding picture on your facebook and says I look really good now. She showed Sister Smith because I had told Sister Smith that I was bigger than I am now. They couldn't believe how much I have changed and Sister Smith thinks I am losing weight even though it doesn't feel like I have but who knows. But we had a good time spending time with the Touchet family! They are really cool!

On Wednesday, me and Sister Smith and Sister Frazier, who is in our little branch, cleaned the church and then we went back to our apartment to clean before President and Sister Moldenhauer came to see us. They had called early that morning to say they wanted to take us to lunch. We went to a nice little restaurant and I had a yummy salad. It was fun spending time with them because we are so far away and we never get to see them. But the interview with President went very well. I told him what I am scared of and how I am doing and shared a conference talk from Henry B Eyring about trust in the Lord and going and doing. I can't wait for the Ensign. I really had a good talk with President Moldenhauer and he thinks the counselor here, Ken, is really going to help me out. He talked about how I need to keep running and not go sit on the bench because he asked what I like to do and I told him running. And so he said just keep running this race and don’t give up and he said just imagine your family all in cheering outfits cheering me on to finish the race. We were talking about conference and I told him I saw you. He began to laugh because he thought it was funny because it must have made it even harder for me but he also thought it was cool because who can say they saw their family on TV. After meeting with President, I got to visit with Sister Moldenhauer and she gave me good counsel as well. She seems like me of how she is scared of things. She told me as a little girl she was scared and couldn't leave her parents and she also said she feels that me going on a mission was a really big step for me and she knows this is hard for me. She says I am going to learn and grow and at the end of the mission I am not going to want to go home. She asked me what I felt about that. I told her it's really hard to believe that right now but she said I will and that I will get lost in the work and that Ken will help me and that the Lord is there to help me as well. She also suggested that I highlight Jesus Christ in my reading of scriptures instead of the other things we are suppose to highlight but I am kind of doing all of them but it's cool to see how much Jesus Christ is in the scriptures. It was a really great visit with them! They are so AMAZING! I am sure going to miss them with they leave in June. Who knows who is going to be the next President but I know he will be called of God and that I will learn to love them as I love President and Sister Moldenhauer.

For the rest of Wednesday we went to go see the Billeaudeaux Family in Kinder. They have 3 girls that are getting baptized and two are over the age of 8 and the other one is 8. We taught the girls some of the commandments and about praying, reading your scriptures, and obeying the prophet and other commandments. We did the Word of Wisdom with them and we made a fridge and a garbage can a while ago on paper to teach them what is good for their body and what is not. It went well. We had a great time teaching them and visiting with them.

But then after seeing them we headed back to Jennings and visited Brother Martin. He was in bed but we shared a scripture with him and I found the scripture. It was about sharing your testimony to others because he lives in a veteran’s home he has lots of opportunity to share his testimony so I thought it will help him to do that and to not be afraid. He liked the scripture. I need to get a picture with him. He always brightens us up because he has such a humble heart and he just loves the gospel. He just forgets a lot of things and I am so grateful to learn to write in my journal so that I can look back on my mission and remember everything that has happened. Then when we were leaving we ran into this guy named Shelton that we had met the week before. We had shared with him what we do and had given him a Book of Mormon. When we saw him again he said he wants to learn more and talk about the gospel so I think we are going to try to meet with him. He lives in Lake Charles which is out of our area but he works here so we will see what we can do. But after seeing them we headed home.

Thursday morning is weekly planning where we plan for the week and we made plans for our baptisms this week with the girls for Thursday and for two other boys that I will tell you about later in the letter for Friday. We made plans to visit people and also made plans for our Zone Conference that we will be having on Wednesday. It will be my first one so we will see how that goes. Sister Smith says it's really good. Later that day we went to Iowa and saw Sister Ramsdel even though we needed to talk with Brother Ramsdel because he is the Branch missionary leader. But we had a good visit with his wife. They are an older couple but she is Baptist and doesn't want to change but she just loves us and loves visitors because she never gets outside of the house. We challenged her to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon so we will see if she did it. But then we went to the Caples home and they are an awesome family. President Caple is the President in the Branch and they always feed us on Thursdays and we always have a fun time there. We had yummy BBQ Chicken tortillas that were so good and yummy peach cobbler with yummy vanilla ice cream. They have two kids, Ryanne and Austin, a girl and a boy. They are big Utah fans and they are really cool!

Friday was district meeting where we meet with our district every week. It's always fun to see our District and also the Zone leaders where there. The meeting was good and we learned more about the Doctrine of Christ and how we need to ask more questions in lessons. I had to play the piano which I kept messing up but hopefully I'll get better. But after our meeting we went to a yummy restaurant that I hope to take you one day and dad too. It's called Nina P's. It's so good. This time I had a really good salad.

After we ate, I went to go see Ken. It was a “get to know ya” talk and I had to fill out papers and told him about my past. He shared with me that he will be able to help me and teach me to not be afraid anymore. He told me I will get feeling better and feel more like myself and to be happy. He reminds me of dad. He is big but doesn’t have grey hair lol. But he is a cool guy and I feel comfortable and not scared of him and he is my first boy counselor so we will see the progress that I hope to make with him.

But then after our visit and our meeting in Lake Charles we headed to Iowa. It was cool because we got to see the homecoming parade. We couldn’t go tracking so we walked over to a member’s house, the Skinners, and watch the parade with them. The parade was fun but I didn't take pictures. I should have but I was too busy watching Sister Skinners’ boys having fun and talking with Sister Skinners because she has been super busy. I love this family and we see them every Friday night. She feeds us and she has three boys. I think I already told you about them but they are the ones getting baptized this Friday. It was fun seeing them since they have been out of town on a cruise and they have been busy camping and they just recently got hit by a drunk driver so that was scary for them but they are all okay and doing well. After the parade and visiting them we went to meet someone that we tracked into, Suzie and Sissy, but they forgot that homecoming was that night so we rescheduled. Then we went tracking for a bit and got 20 contacts in an hour and that’s hard to get but we met some cool people. There is this one guy and he wants to stop drinking but he is deaf and I don't think he knows sign language but he wants to change but we will see if he comes to church or gives us a call. Then we went back to the Skinners to have a yummy, and I do mean yummy dinner. We had Poor Boys and it’s a sandwich. A big sandwich with roast beef with gravy, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and fries and lots of gravy and it was so good and it was messy. I'll have to make it for ya'll when I come home so make a list of food that I tell ya'll so I can remember what to make ya.

But after dinner we taught the boys about tithing and that was fun because we had monopoly money from the Touchet family that we borrowed and they boys liked it. But they are so excited for this Friday. They are getting baptized before a big Halloween party in Lake Charles that we are going to. The baptism is in Lake Charles and they know a lot of people down there because when the mom was inactive the boys would go with their grandma so hopefully they will have a lot of people there for support. So it's going to be good.

Saturday we went to go teach this family that we tracked into and their names are Josa and Rhonda Bravo. We just taught them and not their kids. It was hard to teach because I didn’t feel comfortable and I just didn't feel that I could teach and so I think the lesson went okay but Sister Smith said it went great. I didn’t talk much but we will see. We are going to see them tonight so hopefully they read and want to learn some more.

Then we went to a birthday party for the Richard family. Their little girl turned one and all we did was just sit around and talked but it was fun to communicate and to relax for a bit.

Then we had to go see the Billeaudeaux family again. It scared us because when we got there the one who is 8, her name is Daisy, said she didn't want to be baptized because she was mad she couldn’t go hang out with friends because we were coming. But by the end of the lesson she wanted to get baptized again. It seems sometimes in life when we can't go do our own thing but have to do something to help us better in life, we will receive more blessings. I hope Daisy will see that by making that sacrifice and meeting with us, she will be blessed. But the girls’ names are Gloria 11, Jessie 10 and Daisy 8. We had a good time teaching them the commandments and it was weird telling the girls about the law of Chastity but Sister Smith took care of that part and it wasn’t too bad. We also taught them the law of tithing and so they excited to pay tithing. But after our fun time with the Billeaudeaux family and Rosie the mom, they told us that after we leave when that time comes they hope other missionaries still comes and see them. They live far away from Jennings but they need missionaries to keep helping them and their family. I told Rosie that we will leave a big note for the new sister missionaries to have them come see her and she smiled and laughed but I knew that gave her some hope and peace in her heart.

We then headed back to Jennings and tried a couple of different people but had no luck. We hadn’t had dinner yet so we went in for dinner.

Sunday I had to play the piano again for church. It went okay but I still made mistakes. Sister Touchet says that I do great and it's good to have the melody played so we can be able to sing, kinda in those terms, but I love her, she is awesome. Well church was good. We missed Sunday School because we had a meeting with Brother Ramsdell about our baptisms this week. I loved Relief Society. We had a good lesson. Sister Caple gave it and she talked about a conference talk about going back to the basics and she talked about how sad it is that people don't love themselves. It totally made me think of me and it was sad but I have been praying to help me love myself because I don't love me. I hate how big I am and how I act and how I put a shy shell on and how I am afraid of everything. But I think it was an answer to my prayer saying that I need to love myself. And I need to see how I can do that and I need to talk to Ken about that and to see what I can do. But after church I was down and Sister Smith talked with me because I feel so out of place and lost because I still just don’t know things and the area and where people live and we have a month left till transfers. It’s a week after my birthday and I'm so scared of what’s going to happen. But she said she is going to help me the best she can to help me not feel so stressed.

So after our talk we headed out to Crowley and we met with some people. There is a sweet lady, Sister Young, and she is an inactive member because her car is broken and there are no other members that are active to drive her to church. I just love to go and visit with her. We never plan for anything because the spirit directs us on what we need to say. And I had a feeling to ask her what’s wrong with her car. She told me it's something electrical and that some guy friend of hers has a friend that said he might could fix it. Then I asked her if she has called him and she said no. Then I felt to tell her that she needed to and that this might be an answer to her prayers of getting her car fixed and she said I might be right. Then we talked about how we need to have faith and need not to be scared and that the Lord will be there to help us. And after we got done visiting with her it was like wow…that is me. I need to have that faith that the Lord will be there for me. But boy its weird teaching people but you really teach yourself.

But after her we went and saw Sister Joiner and she is inactive too because she can’t drive. She loves it when we come and talk with her and share scriptures with her. She started to cry and told us that she loves us coming to have her feel of the spirit because she has us and the Jehovah Witnesses come by and that’s the only way she can feel the spirit. And it broke my heart of how far away she is that no one can take her to church. But hopefully one day there will be members in Crowley to take her. She is an older black lady and it’s always fun to go talk with her. She always calls us “baby.” That is a thing lots of people do here in Louisiana and Texas. It’s really weird and different but hey it’s Louisiana!

Then we saw some other inactive members, the Monsoe family. They have been inactive for a while. They have lots of dogs and its fun to play with them but Sister Smith is not a fan of dogs but it was fun to visit with them and to invite them to the Halloween party this Friday. The visit went well. We talked about the iron rod and how we need to hold tight and that we need to read our scriptures to help us through the day. But oh ya, earlier we were trying to see another inactive member and his name is Brother Burnett but he wasn’t home. He had his black lab on the leash and I was holding the lab so Sister Smith could knock on the door to make sure he wasn’t home and to leave a note on the door. It was so funny. I could have let go and had the dog run and go lick her but I didn’t. I love her too much. She got a picture so I will send ya it. But luckily I love dogs right! But anyways that was Sunday.

I sure hope this next week that the baptism for the girls works out because their grandfather, who hasn’t been in their life lately, now wants to be and so we might change the baptism date again or he might be able to make it Thursday hopefully. We will see. The Lord knows what is best when the girls should get baptized and the grandfather is not a member so it will be good for him to see it so we will see what happens.

But wow, what a week and I bet you are just crying and so amazed at my week and what has happened uh. I know I need to write more of these letters to tell ya about the work and the area and to tell you what I am doing. But I sure hope you enjoy this letter.

I love you mom and I hope this letter brings you comfort and joy to read to see how your missionary is doing.

I love you and I can't wait to hear from you and dad. And I’m glad dad loved his letter. I will be writing him more and you too. But I love you and got lots more letters to write. I love you bye.

Love Your Favorite Missionary,

Sister Hawkins

Down Town Crowley -- one of their areas

A painting on one of the buildings in Crowley

Haveing fun with the Touchet kids
(Sister Hawkins just loves this family!)

Sister Smith and Sister Hawkins
with one of the children they like to visit

Sister Hawkins protecting Sister Smith!

Don't worry Sister Smith ... I will protect you! LOL

Taken at the library when she was writing the above email

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank you all for your many prayers and letters. I feel so grateful to be able to tell you that Emily has decided not to come home and is going to keep trying. She has felt of your love and support this past week. Sister Smith’s parents sent me an email their daughter had written to them about Emily and I just wanted to share the ending of that email. She wrote to her parents:

“This girl is FAMOUS!! She has received more mail than I have my entire mission almost in these 2 months.. She has a lot of support."

Emily truly is blessed with amazing friends and family. She feels of your love and support.  Here is some of what Emily wrote to me today along with a few pictures she emailed me:

October 18, 2010

Hi Mom,

Well this week has sure been hard and I have gone through a lot. I did a lot of crying and a lot of praying asking Heavenly Father what I should do. I did what you asked me to do … I didn't pray for the family, I only thanked Heavenly Father for my family. I prayed for Sister Smith and I prayed that He would help me.

It was hard because I did not tell Sister Smith what was going on until the middle of the week because I was just so emotional. During companion study I just didn't want to run over things because I just didn't think I could explain things. She got upset and didn't say anything and just did the dishes. I knelt down and prayed asking Heavenly Father what I needed to do. She got done with dishes and she came back to our table of study and I just cried and I told her I was sorry. She said, “I don't know what I can do for you, I'm trying to be there but I just don't know what’s going on. You’re not talking to me. You’re crying all the time and you keep telling yourself your fine.” Then I told her I was thinking of going home. And she was quiet. I told her the reasons why and she just started crying and told me I can't go home and that I can't leave her. I told her if I go that she would be fine. She said, “No! You can do this.” She said that I have changed ever since I got here. She gave me a pep talk and said I can do this and that I needed to get a blessing. She said she has been praying for me and kept thinking I needed to get a blessing.

So on Friday I got a blessing from Elder Sedar, our District Leader, and it was a good blessing. I was told that the Lord knows what I am going through and that the Holy Ghost will be a comfort and a guide to me and that I will know that the Atonement is real and is there not only to be forgiven but also to feel peace and to lift off the burdens we have. So I am doing better.

So this week Sister Smith has been really good and loving and trying to help me in anyway that she can. She is an amazing companion. I am just so worried for transfers and what's going to happen, who is going to stay or who is going to go. I still really need her and she is so understanding and so patient. I love her lots.

I got a call from President Moldenhauer Saturday morning. He was thinking of me and thought that he should call me and at first I was not going to tell him what has been going on but then I did because he is the Mission President and if he was inspired to call me then that means he knows something … right?  So I had a good talk with him and he even said my name Emily a couple of times and it was neat because it felt like he was really concerned and it made it seem personal and that he really cares about me and what I am going through right now. He told me that I am having a lot harder time transitioning to mission work and that I need to think of other things besides home and that when I start to think of home that I need to think about the work or an investigator. So we had a good talk.

This week was also hard because we had like 2-3 people drop us and tell us that they didn’t want to learn more or that their husband doesn’t think it’s good for them. And tracking was different too, there was a lot of people saying no thank you and closing the door. It seems like nobody is ready. But like Sister Smith always says, there are miracles around the corner.

But the weekend was fun. There is a fun family, the Billeaudeaux family, and they had a birthday party for 2 of the girls that want to get baptized on October 27th and so the birthday party was lots of fun. There was yummy food and a cool jumping place that looked like a castle this time. One of the family members owns a lot of the air jumpers so they had a castle this time instead of the Dalmatian one like the picture I sent you. But we are building a relationship with this family so that we can get the family back into church.

I had a great Sunday because there was one of the Stake Presidency speaking and he served a long time ago in Idaho where I am from. He is a convert and is so grateful for the gospel in his life. He talked about reading the scriptures with his family and how it has really changed him and his family. So I want to extend a challenge to my family and friends to read from the Book of Mormon ten minutes every day for the next 2 weeks and see how much your family life is different and how reading the Book of Mormon changed your week. And then feel free to write me to tell me how it went or write it on my mission blog and my mom will send it to me. I know you all can do it and that your life will change from taking ten minutes to read from the scriptures.

Mom, you asked me when I would get to go to the Houston temple. November 16!!!! And it's a week before transfers so Sister Smith gets to go with me and be here for my birthday. We are going to the 11 o’clock session. We are going to have a short p-day on the 15th because we are going to the temple on the 16th so our p-day will be from 10-2.

I got lots of letters from family and friends saying to me that I can't come home and that I really need to do this. This is just hard. It's so hard. But I was so shocked to get a letter from Dad. How cool was that! I wish to hear more from him. I need to write to him. I just sometimes don’t have time to write to everybody.

The gospel it true. I love you all and I'm so grateful to have such a great family and so many friends to write to me and be such a great support to me. I'm so grateful for the wonderful examples you all are to me. I love you all and I hope to hear how my challenge to you goes.

Love Sister Hawkins!

Birthday Party for two of their investigators
that Sister Hawkins and Sister Smith were invited to.

They attended another birthday party and this is the birthday boy
trying to handcuff Sister Hawkins.  She writes,
"He is a tough boy and he hits.  He's got a good arm. LOL"

Trust Emily to find a Dalmatian!

Sister Hawkins holding a dragon fly!

Outside the Jennings Public Library where she emails her family.

Kinder -- one of the areas they serve in.

Last Zone Meeting before the October 4th transfers.

Sister Hawkins and Sister Smith
What a team!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sister Hawkins needs your prayers

Well I got a short letter from Emily this week but I am not going to post it.  She is really struggling and is seriously considering coming home.  I was able to email her back and forth for a short time this morning and she has agreed to give it another week.  I know we all have faith that she can do this, Emily just needs to find faith in herself.  She is very homesick and feels she does not know enough to be out teaching the gospel.  Please remember her in your prayers and if you have time for a short note, I am sure she would love to hear from you.  Thank you to all who regularly check this blog.  I feel of your love and support.         Julie (Emily's mom)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 4, 2010 email and pictures

Hi Mom,

You will not believe the blessing I received on Saturday during the afternoon session of General Conference. When the congregation and the choir were singing I said a little pray in my heart saying please let me see my family and guess what, my prayer was answered! It was near the end of the song and I saw dad first, then you, then Rachel and then Jackson. It was so amazing. I just started crying. I was standing by the TV at the church and it was just me and Sister Smith and when I saw you I just started to cry and I said, “Look, there is my family, look there is my family!!!!!” I didn’t see Rachel and Jackson really well because of the words of the Hymn written on the screen but I saw you at conference. How amazing is that and what a blessing to have a tiny prayer answered!!! It was so good to see you!!! You all look so good! The remainder of conference I was just totally thinking of you all and I was just crying and missing home but I really loved seeing you and dad!!

But now to the important stuff…I wondered if you could find something at Desert Books about the Plan of Salvation to help me teach people. Also when you get a chance could you send me my Hymns Made Easy book? They found out that I can play and in district and zone meetings they want me to play so I told them I would try to get a book so I can play for them. LOL. It's weird playing and I'm so nervous playing. I hope I won’t have to play in church because we have such a small branch and we only have one piano player and when she is gone we use cds to sing. Sorry my e-mail is late today but we went shopping with Sister Skinner in Lake Charles and that was fun. I didn't find anything to buy but it was fun.

Well a lot has happened this week! Zone P-Day last Monday was fun! We played Volleyball and we did a weird kickball and running game too. I didn't get a chance to write anybody except you and Jackson. But it was fun. I met a really nice missionary and his name is Elder Walker. The first time I met him I sat by him at lunch and we talked and I shared a little about myself and how I had to wait to go on my mission because of anxiety. He gave me a guy’s number who is a counselor here that comes and visits Elders and Sisters. I still have it but I don't think I'll use it. He said that he has some anxiety issues too. He has been out 5-6 months and I think he is from Utah. But at Zone p-day I really still didn’t talk to a lot of Elders except Sister Smith and Elder Walker but it was fun hanging out with other missionaries.

This week we have been teaching a lot of lessons and some have been okay and some have been hard. Some of the houses that we go to I just shut down and get scared and it doesn't seem like I talk much in the lessons. But there are some lessons that I do really well at and others I just don't think I do well. But I know I am still new and I am still learning how to teach and to teach with the Spirit. Sister Smith has been a great help even though sometimes I feel like I don't give my best. I really need to try harder. I just shut down and don’t talk and just don’t want to try anymore. Satan is working really hard on me and I try to do my best. But what is still really hard for me is tracking. Like yesterday I had this lady yell at me and then slam the door in my face and I just shut down and did not want to do tracking anymore. I just felt so low and just wanted to go back to the apartment. Sister Smith says that I am going to get that a lot and that I just need to brush it off but that is just hard to do. But I keep saying so many tiny prayers to help me know what words to say.

This last week we set two baptism dates so hopefully if they come to church and keep the commandments then they will get baptized but we will see. We always ask people to be baptized after the first lesson and some say yes and others say no. If they say yes, we set a date and they work towards that date to be baptized. But there's no baptism that are coming yet. They all set dates for the end of the month so we will see.

Well every Friday we have a District meeting and this last Friday Elder Sedar, who is our District leader, asked me and Sister Smith to teach the Doctrine of Christ which is in 3 Nephi 27:13-22. At first I was really nervous and scared because I didn't know what the Doctrine of Christ was and I still don't totally understand it all. But I know from studying and teaching that it is to 1) Have faith in Jesus Christ and 2) Repent of your sins and 3) Be baptized and 4) Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost and 5) Endure to the end. That is what our purpose as missionaries is in the Preach My Gospel book. It was interesting to teach it to the Elders and it went well. Then we had to do some roll playing and I was with Elder Sedar and Elder Christensen and then Sister Smith was with Elder Braithwaile and Elder Rassmussen. So me and Sister Smith were split up and it was weird because the Elders I was with were so tight and weren’t really themselves and it felt like they didn't want to be with me to do role plays. Everybody gets along so well with Sister Smith and everyone likes Sister Smith and I just don't understand why it's so hard for me to be myself. It seems like I'm not myself and I just don't know how to be the bubbly person I was in the singles branch. This is just hard. I'm being really shy and it's hard to come out of my shell. So I'm struggling with that. I'm just the quite sister! Even a lady at the tiny branch says that my nick name is Quite Sister Hawkins. I think she is just teasing but to think about it, I really am the quite Sister and I just don’t' know how to feel comfortable about myself and to be happy and to be the person that everybody loves back home.

Well I'll move off that subject. This Saturday is going to be cool. We are traveling outside our mission to go to Houston Texas to the Haffer Building to have Elder Costa come talk to three Missions!! He is from the Quorum of the Seventy and there is going to be 500 Missionaries there to listen to Elder Costa speak to us. President Moldenhauer wants us in our seats by 12:30 p.m. reading our scriptures until 1:00 p.m. when we will get to hear Elder Costa! So that is going to be cool. Oh and because Sister Smith and I have the truck that can fit four more people, we get to travel four hours or so in the truck with two sets of Elders and so that is going to be fun. We did it once for a Zone Meeting in Orange Texas and that was like a 45 minute drive but 4-5 hours --- wow, that's going to be a long day there and back! So I'll have to tell ya about it next p-day.

I don't know if I told you what days we go eat with families in the branch but we eat at members’ homes Tuesday through Friday. The food is great but down here they just always have so much to eat. They think we are like the Elders and it's so not true. Before Sisters came to Jennings there where Elders here for a long time and some of the members understand that we don't eat a lot like the Elders did but others always keep offering us more food. I've been eating slowly and that helps keep them from offering more.

This morning was super exciting because for our exercise time we got to run three miles and we usually only run one mile. I asked Sister Smith if we could run three miles and we did and it was super! I love running and plus it's so much easier to run down here then in the mountains. But I miss the mountains and it's weird to look out the window and just see nothing but big blue sky and that's it.

Well I got to run now but I will write you later. I love you and I miss everyone. I hope everyone is doing well. I hope to hear from you soon. I love you!!! I really miss you!

Love Sister Hawkins

Silly time in Humble Texas

Sister Hawkins, Sister Smith, Sister Parsens, Sister Singleton

Zion Zone P-Day
(Elder Walker, the one she talked about in her email, 
is on the far right holding the basketball)

A store in Humble Texas!

What stop lights look like in Jennings!

Sister Hawkins - Jennings LA

How cute is this?

What you will do to get a picture taken with your companion!

Mailbox in Jennings, LA ... they do love their fish!

Sister Hawkins