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!!!!

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