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!