Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 email

When the third sentence of her letter tells me that she is loving her mission ... well, it just can't get any better than that.  I am truly humbled and give thanks to our Father in Heaven for the growth Emily is seeing.  This mission is such a grand blessing in her life.  She has come so far and continues to get stronger every week. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support! (Oh and just for your information, in this letter she refers to Melanie and Troy and the grandkids because she knows I am currently in Washington being a grandma!)
Monday, January 31, 2011
Hey Mom,
Wow, what a week and what a wonderful time I am having.  I just love how much I am growing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how much more I am becoming like my Savior. I'm just loving my mission! I can't believe I am here. Last night I watched a really great movie with some members, the Berges! They are the cutest old couple ever and the movie was from the Church History DVD  you sent me. It was a movie I haven't ever seen before and it was the John Tanner movie. Boy did that movie move me so much! My Testimony grew so much on Faith.  It was amazing to see the faith that John Tanner had to be healed from his bad leg. All the doctors told him to cut off his leg because it was eventually going to kill him because it was infected. But John Tanner wouldn’t because he told them "I came into this world with my leg and I will leave with it too!" Then the missionaries started teaching him and then it was cool! They told him to arise and walk! And that was so amazing because they have the power of the Priesthood. And well you're gonna have to watch it with Melanie and Troy and just see it for yourself.  Just see how much your testimony grows!! Mine is just growing so much everyday! I'm so very grateful to have had the Priesthood growing up in my life and I will most defiantly look for a husband in the future who has the Priesthood to bless our home! I'm just loving how much I'm growing and understanding so much!
I got to see President and Sister Moldenhauer this week for interviews and boy that was so uplifting! Mom it was so sweet to see President get all teary eyed!  When we were visiting, he just looked into my eyes and told me that I have grown so much and that he and Sister Moldenhauer keep me in a special place in their hearts and that they just love me so much and they just love watching me grow! He is sad they won't see me continue to grow when they get released this summer but he told me that he will be there for sure when I come off that plane in 2012!  I just couldn't believe all the wonderful things he said. He is really proud of me and he is very happy that I listened to his counsel and that I visit with Ken! It's crazy to hear from people that they see how much I am growing. Some days it's hard to see, but other days I realize it and I'm like, "Wow! I am really here on a mission. And I am really doing it!"
Well I know right now on my mission it might be a little bit of a breeze even though it's hard but I still do have my trials like when I go into lessons and I freeze up because I get very nervous or very scared and just talk really fast and just don't know what to say sometimes. But I know that the Lord is helping me. And like Wade always tells me, the Lord is shaping me into a Diamond. And it's true! I just wish ya'll could see me but I know that when ya'll read my letters, I think you can see me grow.  I can see it in David's and Angie's mission letters too. Missions are amazing and they truly help you grow so much and help prepare you for the future and help you grow so much in the Gospel. Ya, I'm never gonna leave the church ever or become in-active because it is just so true and it just really blesses your life to know where you're going and although we do have hard times, we know the Lord is there to help us so much!!!!
Well I don't know how much time I have left on the computer because we are at a Collage library and they are pretty busy today but I want to tell you about this really cool family that I'm just loving so much!! They are the Prigmores and it's a part-member family. Amy is the wife and she is a member and Jay is the husband and he is not a member.  Before they got married Amy had 6 kids and the 3 older kids are members and the 3 youngest which includes twins are not members. They just love us missionaries!!! Jay was taught before and he felt pushed and he didn’t like it.  He is an Army or Navy guy so he is BIG and TUFF!!!! But he is the nicest guy ever!! It was cool last Monday because we went and played racquet ball with them.  They just love that sport and we're gonna do it again tonight with them.  When we shared our lesson with the family, Jay opened up to us and said that we are welcome anytime to stop by and say hi and that he doesn't want us to forget them. And for sure I'm not gonna forget them! They are just too cool!!!!! I can't wait for ya'll to meet them when we come back to see my mission hopefully! That would be so cool and then we could all go play racquet ball!!! But they are just an awesome family and we got Jay and Amy to come to church yesterday because all four of us missionaries had to speak in Church. We told them we were speaking and Jay told us he would be there and they came!!! How cool is that!!! My talk went well yesterday; I talked about prayer and I got a lot of compliments on my talk and some people used it in the classes that followed which I was shocked. But hey they liked it. And mom can you believe I am preparing talks by myself and not asking for ya'll help!!! WOW I'm growing up!!! LOL!!! I just used my scriptures and "Preach My Gospel" and the awesome Ensigns you send me each month!! I love getting those and reading them!!! It's just so cool the things you learn and grow from in the Ensigns!!!!
Well mom I have a week left and will then be done with my second journal!!! WOW another journal done and I will be on my 3rd; how crazy is that?  It's cool that I have been able to write in my journal every day, well almost everyday. But I do catch up and tell my journal about the days I have missed so I have like every day written down in my journal!! I love keeping a journal and being able to look back and read all the wonderful things I have done and to see the cute pictures that I put in my journal.  It's gonna be so nice to be able to go through my journal with ya'll when I come home and to be able to show my journal to my future kids and to have that be a testimony for them that the Lord can help you through anything!!!
Man, I'm just doing really well, but don't be shocked if next week will be hard, because the adversary likes to bring ya down all the time!!! But it makes us stronger and helps our testimonies grow ya know! Well I know this isn't a really long letter but I have to get writing to President Moldenhauer and then we have to go shopping and we are also gonna try to write more letters because I need to write some people. But just know that I think about ya'll a lot and miss ya tons! I'm so grateful to have a family that is so supportive and helps me out so much and is praying a lot for me! Ya'll are the best and I'm so grateful to have friends to hear from and to see how much they are growing as well as I am. This Gospel of Jesus Christ is so true and I thank my Heavenly Father every day that He has given me this wonderful blessing of serving a mission.  I know without Him to rely on that I couldn't get through every day that I go through. I know He is always there.  I know the Book of Mormon to be true and that we have it for us to read and study from and to apply in our lives.  It can help us in these hard times that we go through. We have a Prophet to lead and guide this Church so we can have that direction from him to help us return to live with our Heavenly Father again. I know this Church is true and for anyone who is debating on whether to go on a mission ... go! Going on a mission is the best thing ever! Yes, you do read my letters and see how I struggle sometimes but the Lord is helping me become more like my Savior Jesus Christ so I can be that example and teacher to others so they will know about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Life isn't easy  but neither was the Atonement that our Savior had to go through. This Gospel is so amazing and I just love doing what I am doing even though I struggle but the Lord is there!
Well I love ya'll and miss ya tons I hope to hear from ya soon! And mom have so much fun with the grandkids and give them loves from Aunt Lou!! Have a great week!
 Love Sister Hawkins!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 email

Emily was a little down on herself this week but by the end of the letter she was sounding better.  She is so hard on herself and she just needs to realize just how far she has come.  She has climbed so many mountains and is still climbing.  I am so proud of her.  She may not be that "4th Missionary" yet but she will be soon. (You will need to read this letter to understand this comment.) Here is her latest email:

Dear Mom,

Wow what a week! Things have been kinda crazy, I'm not gonna lie. Things have been hard for me these last couple days. The reason why is because our Mission President and his wife gave us some cool things for Christmas and one of the things they gave us was a package of talks about "Who Am I Becoming?" and one of the talks is about "Being the Fourth Missionary." There are four types of missionaries. The 1st and 2nd types of missionaries are kind of the same where they are just there and they do the things they want to do and don’t work really hard. And then the 3rd type of missionary is the one who is in between the lines and so it's like the one side of the line is being a missionary and the other side is thinking of home and wishing that you were home and that you’re on a mission because you have to be on a mission. Don't get me wrong, this talk is really good. I haven't read about the 4th missionary yet, just the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. So for my studies tomorrow I will be reading about the 4th missionary. Anyways the 3rd missionary is me and it's sad. I'm being a 3rd missionary right know and it hurts to know that and I can't believe I've been the 3rd missionary. I will be sending ya a copy of this talk because it's good and then you'll understand more what I am talking about. But I've been just kinda down the last couple of days and it's hard to go to Church because I just don't feel part of the ward yet and I don't fit in yet but I hope to soon. I guess they will have to continue to get to know me! But I know I'm depending on the Lord and asking for His help! I know He is there and that He loves me. But anyways I'll move onto something else!

I did get my package in the mail mom. Thanks a bunch, you’re the best! I just love getting packages and letters but this week was sad as I only got like four letters compared to like 10-12 letters ya know. lol. But I know people are busy and they have stuff to do. But I also know that I'm not getting letters because I never have time to write letters because I hang out with my district on p-days and we have fun going to different stores or we hang out and play games. I do get a chance to write a couple of letters but not like I use to in Jennings! I use to write 10 letters on p-days in Jennings. I wish I had the time to write letters to my grandparents, to my aunts, to my family and to my friends. But I just don't have the time on p-days, especially today because today we are having zone p-day where we are getting together with lots of missionaries so it should be fun.

Oh guess what I found out the other day? I am going to be the only Sister Missionary going home with two elders and I know one of the Elders because he is in my Zone. His name is Elder Johnson and he is from Utah. So I know one of the Elders. LOL. Pretty cool! I will probably be a spoiled Sister the day LOL. But it's gonna be cool because what I've heard that we do before we go home is go to the Temple with the Mission President and his wife and hang out with them for a day! Cool Uh! I just thought I would share that with ya.

So I am so cold here in La Port, Texas!!!! It's BBRRRRR Cold!!!!!! Do you know why? Well it's because of the humidity and plus I'm by water and it's just cold and plus it rains so much down here. It's crazy! I still can't find those monkey gloves that I want. I wish I had them when I go tracking because it would be easier to write on cards and on pamphlets. But I'm keeping my eyes open!!!

Well this last week has been kinda long. We were just doing the normal stuff of going out and tracking and teaching. But one day it was so crazy and time went by so fast. I looked at the clock and it was like 5:00 p.m. and I just could believe it!! I said for the first time, “Wow today has gone by fast.” I guess just working hard and focusing on the Lord’s work makes time go by fast. But most days go slow expect for p-day and they go by fast! But I think time is going a little faster for me. I think why it's going slow is because I just think of the day too much and just wonder when I get to go home and just relax and write in my journal even though I shouldn't think about that and just the Lords work. But when you have tough days, you kinda just want to quit for the day but I know I can't. I'm doing a marvelous work for the Lord and I'm for sure Loving this work!

So you wanna hear some funny tracking stories!! Well here it goes. So yesterday we went tracking and we tracked into a lady’s house who used to be Mormon and we were like, “cool”, but she wasn’t on the ward list that we checked and she just didn’t want us to come over again to visit or nothing which I thought was weird. Then we tracked into another Mormon’s home that was on our list to go find yesterday because her and her family is less-active. We found her but she doesn’t seem too interested in us coming back to see her but we are gonna try her this coming week. And here comes the funny one. So we go to this door and we knock and ring the door bell. This Elderly lady comes to the door and her face stays the same. She doesn’t smile and she doesn’t say anything. Sister Singleton says "Hi, How are you today?" And without any movement in the face, she doesn’t say anything. She just slams the door on us. Sister Singleton just laughs because this lady didn’t have any emotion in her face. I just felt bad because I felt like we bugged her or made her upset that she had to answer the door. But when I think back on it, it really was funny because the lady didn’t say or move a whole lot. But that’s some tracking experiences I had.

Some people are nice when they answer the door and other people are just rude and say no and just shut the door. It bothers me a bit. I talked with Ken about it this last week and I shared my thoughts with him. He said that the doors I go to brings back some anxieties and fears because maybe they smell or how the house looks or how the people acted when they come to the door. But he says that I'll overcome that through time. But some other things he said made me say like, “WOW” to myself. He said I am doing very well and that I am progressing and that I know my weaknesses and that I know how to handle them and know the things that I need to work on and improve on and he says I'm doing very well. I wrote a letter to him last week before meeting with him about an assignment that I did. He said that he learned from my letter and that he showed it to another person at work and they were just really impressed with how I wrote it and the experience that I had. He says that he always learns from me at every session that we have together. He says that is one of my gifts that I teach people things. And of course I am thinking to myself, “Me teach people things? I struggle with teaching lessons, how can I teach people things?” But I do believe the things that Ken says. I love meeting with Ken! He is the best! I just have so much fun learning from him. My last assignment was to make a list of things that I wished I had learned before my mission and one of the things was to have memorized the 13 Articles of Faith. So for this next assignment he told me to read “The Tender Mercies of the Lord” by Elder David A Bednar in the 2005 April General Conference to have the 13 Articles of Faith memorized by the next time I see him and I see him every two weeks. Ken also had to meet with another Elder so during the time Ken was visiting with him I memorized the 13 Articles of Faith. How cool is that? So when Ken came out I said, “Guess what? I have all 13 memorized.” He said, “No way!” When Ken gave me this challenge he said he would memorize them too by the next time we meet. So when I told him I got them down he is like, “Now you have to give me a chance to memorize them ya know.” Lol!! We both just laughed. Ken is awesome.

Oh guess what else happened that was crazy this week? I got to pray at another funeral. So ya! Crazy uh! And I did the closing prayer too. I think it is funny that in my last area I went to a funeral and prayed and now this area I went to a funeral and prayed and it was for people I did not even know. It was really different because they weren’t members, in fact they were Catholic and in the Catholic religion if you are cremated you can’t do a funeral service in the Catholic church and so one the daughters of this mom is a member and asked the Bishop if they could do the funeral at the church. She also asked the Bishop to contact the sister missionaries and asked them to offer the prayers. It was funny because on the program they didn’t have Sister Sinlgeton's name but rather it said Sister Hutchensen. Then during the funeral the Bishop said Sister Hutchensen instead of Sister Singleton. It was a type-o but it was so funny. So that was another different experience that I will never forget. I think I keep praying at funerals to build my testimony of the Plan of Salvation! People that are there think that they are never going to see their loved one again and it's wonderful to know that you really do get to see them again if you follow God's plan and come unto him and be baptized by that proper authority that is on the earth. So I think I am praying at these funerals to build my testimony on that because it's so hard to think of losing a loved one and to feel like you will never see them again even though you really do if you are doing what you need to do in this life and to endure to the end.

I just love how my testimony is growing on different subjects in the Gospel and how much I am learning and growing! It's gonna be cool to come home and to sit down with ya mom and dad to share with you all the cool things I learned and tell you about the wonderful experiences that I am having on my mission. We are gonna be staying up late that night just telling ya story after story. I wish I could just call ya all the time to tell you of these things but I know why we just e-mail once a week and just write on p-days so we won’t get off track of doing the Lord's work. But we can wait for that day to come because I just want to be here to learn and to grow and to teach Heavenly Father's children about the Gospel so they can know the way back to Him.

Well mom I got to get going. I hope things are well and I hope you have fun with Melanie. I'm so jealous. Give all the girls lots of hugs and kisses from their Aunt Lou. I can't believe how much they have grown, even little Zaebyn. It's gonna be crazy, they all are going to be walking around when I get home. And who knows, when Rachel graduates, maybe her and Jackson will have a kid on the way!!! Wow, things are changing. How crazy! But I got to run and write to President Moldenhauer and then go have fun at Zone P-day.

I hope to hear from ya soon! Thanks for all the love and the support you give to me! I love ya lots!!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 email

Hey Mom,

Wow what a week and what a learning experience! I'm just loving everything. I'm truly loving the work that I am doing for the Lord. Yes, I do have some hard days but I do have good days! Sister Singleton is the most AWESOME companion ever! I'm having so much fun with her. The other night we were having so much fun taking silly pictures and making a video of being on a show and she was interviewing me of how I make yummy hot cocoa! We are just having so much fun! Even though time still goes by slow, but I'm having so much fun and I'm learning so much from the Book of Mormon. We read about 4 pages every day and it's amazing the things that I am learning about the gospel and of how I can apply it to my life! It's hard to read in 2nd Nephi about Isaiah, I must admit, but I do have some understanding of it though!

Well this last Friday we had a meeting; it was a specialized training that President Moldenhauer came to and he is encouraging our mission to do church building tours! So we learned how to do church tours and some Elders demonstrated it for us. So now President and his assistances are going around the mission and showing us missionaries how to do church tours. The mission is already having success with the tours and are committing people to baptism. So it’s neat how everyone is excited to go and do church tours. Sister Singleton and I haven’t had one yet but hopefully we will with a family this week that has some questions and misunderstanding of our religion. It will be exciting to see if they would like to come and do a church tour. But Sister Singleton and I need to practice giving one so we are going to try to get up to the church and practice sometime this week.

After our big training meeting we did exchanges with Fall Creek where they have a threesome who include Sister Smith (my mommy! aka missionary terms), Sister Lundgren and Sister Hatch. Sister Lundgren has been out for surgery and so Sister Hatch came to La Porte with Sister Singleton and I went with Sister Smith! Then to our surprise, Sister Lundgren came back early from the Mission home where she had been recovering from her surgery and she was ready to be a missionary again so I was in a three some! Yea that was different and weird. That night we went around meeting less actives and members and its weird because you have a lot of testifying with three missionaries which is good and in some ways I feel like, wow over powering, but we all did good. Sister Lundgren stills feels weak so we had to take some breaks, even on Saturday. Friday night she worked too hard and was sore which turned out to be a blessing because I wasn’t feeling too well that day either. We went out for an hour and I was having lots of stomach pain!!! We came home for Sister Lundgren and when we got to the apartment I went straight to bed also and curled in a ball because my stomach was hurting. I fell asleep for an hour and a half and woke up, ate some food and was still in some pain. We ended up staying in for the rest of the day for Sister Lundgren because she was weak and tired and it was good for me because I got some more rest and some study time in the Book of Mormon. We did exchanges around 4:00 p.m. and then took pictures of all the Fall Creek missionaries along with me and Sister Singleton and then headed back to our own area. Even when we got back I still wasn’t feeling too well. We went and got the Elders in our District because we are with them like 24/7 and I was just not well so Elder Walker gave me some Pepto-Bismol and it helped me a lot and made the pain go away that even Tylenol couldn’t do. I was grateful for the medicine Elder Walker gave me.

We then went to a Ward Social! That was fun. We played games and ate pizza and I met some more people in our ward which is good! We have a very BIG ward with lots of inactives and so I'm still trying to remember everybody! But it was a fun time and I felt better that evening. I'm just grateful for the exchanges that enabled me to rest and to get feeling better. The Lord works in ways to help us out. If I had been in my own area when I was not feeling well I would have been miserable and been out working but the Lord knew it would be good for me and for us to do exchanges when we did and I was able to get the needed rest!

So things have been good. The area is still confusing and I'm still trying to figure out the place. It's like a big city and we have areas color coded and I still get confused on what color area that we are in. I'm just so very blessed and very thankful that you and dad bought me that GPS for Christmas. It's been a real lifesaver to me!! It has helped me and my companions to not get lost and to find peoples houses. It has been a help even in this area because before I came Sister Singleton was only in the area for 6 weeks so she is still new to the area too so we are learning lots together! Love that girl!

We are teaching a lady, Mary, and it's been good. It's a blessing to have the gospel in my life and to know where I am going after this life. Mary had a son that was killed and she is mad at God for it. I have only taught two lessons with her and its amazing how the spirit is there when we teach! Mary just loves Sister Singleton which worries me a bit if transfers come and Sister Singleton has to go and I don't have that strong connection with Mary yet. But I am hoping by the time that happens that I will. Mary came to church two weeks ago which was good and her mom came too. Her mom works in Nauvoo and she referred the missionaries to Mary because her son got killed. The mom isn’t a member so it's been interesting to go in the home and to teach! I hope Mary will accept the Gospel and be baptized and have the Spirit with her and the reassurance that she will see her son again!

The work is going well! We had a good time tracking. Ya… I know… I actually said “a good time tracking!” The reason I say that is because it was raining and after nearly one and a half hours of tracking we had 16 contacts and only one said we could come back and at the end of tracking it started to down pour and boy did we get wet! My skirt was just soaking wet. Luckily I had worn my boots but my coat was wet, the end of my sweater was wet and my hair was wet! We were just so wet! We took funny video of us and pictures but don't have time today to send ya some because of limited time on the computer. But it was cool to be all wet. Luckily we didn’t get sick from being so wet. Then it was nice after tracking because we went to a member’s home and she fed us nice warm Chicken Noodle soup, a grilled cheese sandwich and some fruit! Boy it was so yummy!

But anyways, I hope things are going well in Shelley Idaho and that all the family is doing well! Oh guess what mom? Kohlae is engaged!! I got a letter this last week telling me she is getting married on April 9th! I'm so excited for her. I haven't gotten lots of letters like I used to. The only ones I get now are yours and Rachel’s, Sister Bolanders, Tom Bird and some friends when they can! It's sad, my mail has gone down but I know life can sure be super busy and that is life!

Oh, by the way, we are going to NASA on the 7th of February. I passed off “How to Begin Teaching" so I get to go yeah!! I am so excited. Well I got to run because time is short and plus I still need to e-mail President Moldenhauer! I'm glad Melanie and her family are doing well and that everyone else is well! I love the pictures you sent me of Rylee and of Zaebyn. They are both so cute. I love Rylee in the pink pillow and the one of Zaebyn sitting up is just so cute. I love you all and miss you lots! I hope to hear from you soon!

Love Sister Hawkins!

I don't have any new pictures to post from Emily this week so I thought I would post a couple of the pictures she was referring to at the end of her letter.  They are ones I recently sent Emily of her nieces and nephew.  Emily is known to them as "Aunty Lou!"

Nieces Ella, Rylee and Kadie

Rylee Ann - born January 10, 2011

Nephew Zaebyn - 8 months old

Monday, January 10, 2011

Another great letter from Sister Hawkins.  She loves her new area and has caught the "missionary bug!"  Shortly after receiving her email this morning I was able to call the misson home so they could tell Emily she is an aunty again.  Her sister, Melanie, had a baby girl today.  Both Rylee Ann and Mom are doing great.  Emily has been anxiously awaiting this call!  Our family is so blessed.  Enjoy the lastest letter and pictures!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow so much to tell ya'll today. I hope I have enough time to type everything out! I sometimes get so excited and I try to type fast and I keep messing up my typing so anyways!!! I just love La Porte!!! It's a great area, the people are so nice and caring in the ward and the area so far looks nice! I'm just having so much fun with Sister Singleton!!! She is so cool! I have been laughing so much more and just having fun. I am just starting to love the work and just enjoying what I am doing. Ya, there are some days where I am like uh, I don't want to do this because it could come out bad or we could get hurt. I say that to myself and hesitate on that but in the end things just totally work out so great! Tracking is kinda getting easier but not so much. I still struggle because there is times where I feel confident and say ya, I can do this, then the door opens and I totally get scared and then really fumble with words to come out of my mouth! But some things are getting better. Sister Singleton is trying to help me with that. It's funny, when we get to doors and we are ringing the door bell or knocking she says, "Okay it's your turn." I just laugh and say, “I know” but then she kinda starts talking. So sometimes I talk and sometimes I don't. It's funny!

I saw Ken this week and it's so fun to talk with him and to let him know how I am doing and what has been a struggle for me. This last time he gave me an assignment to share with people in District Meeting because I had to talk on "How to gain a Testimony of Reading the Book of Mormon." He told me to bring up that I really struggle and have anxiety over tracking and to ask the missionaries if they ever had fears or anxiety over tracking and how they overcome them with reading the Book of Mormon. So I did and I got a really good outcome. Only a couple spoke up but one of them said that there will be a great outcome when you go tracking knowing that it will bless their life. And that yes, it is scary, but in the end it's gonna bless someone’s life. I just know that to be totally true. So my talk at District Meeting went really well on Friday. When my District leaders ask me to talk I just get so nervous and so worried of what to prepare for and what to look up to share to help them become better missionaries or what I can do to maybe help one of them that day. So I worry when I get asked to speak. Which by the way, I get to speak at the end of the month in the ward, so that's gonna be interesting. But I know the Lord will prepare for me and help me know what to speak on.

Well guess what? I got totally super exciting news mom!!!!! Guess what our mission will be doing at the end of January?!!!!!!!!! The best mission ever of the wonderful, coolest, miracle mission of the Texas Houston East Mission are going to go to............... NASA!!!!!!!!!! Isn't that the coolest thing ever? If we memorize "How to Begin Teaching" in Preach My Gospel, we get to go tour NASA. I basically have it memorized, I just have to recite it to my District leader then I can go. It will cost about $15-25 dollars, something like that to go in and see all the cool things that we are going to be seeing!!! I'm so excited. So mom if you and dad could have money in my account so I can buy some cool stuff from NASA like a t-shirt or a magnet or something from NASA that will be so cool!!! I’m gonna have to write a super long letter that week to tell ya'll about NASA!!! I just can't wait!!!!! I'm so excited and it's cool that all of the missionaries in our mission are going only if they get "How to Begin Teaching" memorized. So we will see how many get to go eh! But it's gonna be so cool!! Who would ever have thought that I would ever be going to see NASA that is so crazy!!

Now to tell ya'll a little about La Porte. Well it’s cold now and it rains off and on and we are so close to the sea. When we go running in the morning, we see the sunrises and man they are so beautiful!! It is cool to watch the sun come up on the water!! I keep forgetting my camera to take pictures so one day I will send ya'll a copy to see the beautiful ocean!!! But the people are nice down here, well sometimes; it depends on who you run into when you are tracking. They are still a lot of different religions where I am at. But it's okay, they are still awesome people!!! They are all God's children. But the area is a great area to work in. My whole mission is a really great place to work in. I know I am gonna love all my areas!! It's gonna be so great!!!

Oh guess what I did last week? Sister Singleton and I got to wash a dog for a member because she wasn’t feeling too well and the dog really smelled. So I got to bath a pit bull named Clark and it was so funny! The member told us it was hard to get Clark in the tub, but once you get him in the tub you will be okay to bath him. Well Elder Tracy just picked up Clark and carried him into the tub and we started the water and we were all good. It was funny when Elder Tracy did that. He is a greeny and has only been out for 7 weeks in the field but he is super cool! But when we were rinsing Clark, he started to shake and we almost got wet but I told Sister Singleton to pull back the drapes of the shower and we didn't get wet … but the second time we did. LOL!!! But it was fun washing a dog; we smelled like dog afterwards but it was so worth it because it helped someone out who wasn’t feeling well.

Oh and we went to a soccer game with a less active family. We are hopeing to reactivate them and baptize her husband. We had so much fun at the soccer game eating the yummy popcorn balls the wife had made us. It was fun to watch soccer and to hang out with them and to build a relationship with them.

We also helped a member move from her mom’s house to an apartment and that was fun. I wish we could do more service as a missionary because people recognize us more which is a good thing because then they will want to learn more!!!

OH my goodness, I almost forgot, silly me! We went to a less active member’s house, which there are so many less actives, and when we walked into the door guess what I saw!!!!!! I saw a DALMATION DOG!!!!!! Ya for real and she is the cutest thing ever!! Her name is Little Girl, even though she is a fat Dalmatian dog. But she is old and she went into a different room to sleep and so I didn’t' get a picture with her but don't worry, we plan to go see her next week so I can get a picture with a Dalmation Dog!!! It's so funny because some things on my mission are totally reminding me of Wade and the things he had experienced like the being cold with a candle picture then a member having a Dalmatian dog. So it's cool that Wade and I are experiencing the same things!!!

Well mom things are just going so good for me right now. I'm loving my new area and I am having so much fun with Sister Singleton and I am learning so much of the Gospel. I don't know if I told ya'll that we started the Book of Mormon over again with the whole mission reading it together only certain chapters a day. And boy it's so neat to see the things that I missed before and my testimony of the Book of Mormon is growing everyday when I read it. It's great to read the book and to learn so much from it. How are you and dad on reading the Book of Mormon? I hope you both are reading it and even together. You just learn and grow so much and even grow closer to our Heavenly Father because He answers prayers when you are reading from the scriptures!!!! It's just amazing that I am a missionary and to see all the wonderful things that I am learning and how much my testimony has grown!!! It's just WOW!!! LOL! :)

Being a missionary is such a blessing to do in your life. I just still can't believe that I am here doing the Lords work! I know that He is helping me everyday to be able to overcome challenges in my life and to share with people the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to have their lives be blessed with the Gospel and to watch them learn and grow from reading the Book of Mormon and to change their lives to come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! It's just amazing to experience and to see how other missionaries change and to watch myself change little by little. I know I am making small changes every day and mom I am going to be totally different when I come home and you are just gonna wonder what happened to Emily!!! But it's gonna be a good change and it's' going to be such a huge blessing in my life and for my future family. To be a better prepared parent and to be able to teach them the Gospel and to help them in this crazy scary world that it is becoming. It's gonna be scary to come home with the new music and with new movies and new technology that will come out. It's just going to be so overwhelming. But it's awesome to know that the Lord is gonna be with me every step in my life to help lead and guide me every day like the prophets in the scriptures. I am so grateful that we can have that Faith and that Knowledge and Guidance to know what to do in this life.

I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful family that is such a great support to me every day and for the friends that I have that write to me. And for all the prayers that gets said every day for me and for missionaries all over the world!! I'm just so grateful to be a part of the Lord's work and to see how it changes lives and to see how much it blesses my life and my family’s life! :)

Well I love you all and I miss ya tons! Thanks for all the letters and the wonderful support. I will write to ya soon and I hope things are going well with the family and with my wonderful cute dog Buddy at home! Love you and Write to ya soon!

Love Sister Hawkins

These Elders asked Sister Hawkins
to crochet them each a scarf!

The Touchets and Caples had a cupcake party
for Sister Hawkins before she left Jennings.

Sister Hawkins and their missionary truck in Jennings.
Her gear all loaded in the back ready for transfers!

Giving Clark a bath -- missionary service at its best!

Soccer game in La Porte, Texas

Just finished helping a lady move.
Love doing service!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sister Hawkins has been transferred

Sister Hawkins is now officially serving in the state of Texas and her letter today was amazing. Although it was hard for her to be transferred to a new area and to leave the wonderful people of Jennings, she handled it well and is excited for her new area. For those of you who have been following Emily’s blog since the beginning, you might remember that shortly after arriving in Jennings, Sister Hawkins and Sister Smith spent a week in Humble, Texas so Sister Smith could attend some special training. During the daytime, while Sister Smith was in her meetings, Emily had the opportunity of working in a threesome with the Sisters serving in the Humble area. Although this was a new and scary thing for Emily, she learned a lot that week and grew to love those two Sisters. Well Sister Hawkins was very excited today when she found out her new companion was one of those Sisters from Humble.  Here is today's email:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Dear Mom,

Wow, what a shocker uh! I can't believe I got transferred. I really thought I was going to be in Jennings one more transfer! I already miss Jennings and the progress that is there! It's super sad. I will miss the Carsons and the Guirdy's baptisms. The Carsons are getting baptized on January 15th and Doug, the dad, is so excited to baptize his family! His wife Nancy and child Gabby are getting baptized! I'm sure gonna miss that wonderful special day! But I know I will be thinking about them when they are getting baptized and plus Sister Brosnahan said that she will be sending me pictures of the baptisms!

So Transfers! Uh total SHOCKER!!! I truly thought that I was going to be staying in Jennings for one more transfer! When the Zone Leaders called I was like, no way, and I thought Sister Brosnahan was going to be leaving … well guess again. It was me. I started to cry because I really do feel like my work wasn't done in Jennings but I can't complain because the Lord knows me and knows what I need.  He also knows what I need to do for Him and who I need to meet and teach the gospel too. But it was crazy to pack! I stayed up till 2:30 AM!!!!!! Don’t' worry, it's okay to stay up and pack and I woke up at 5:00 AM!!! Ya I am so tired! I just can't believe all the stuff I have gotten over the last 4 months! I will be sending another package home with shirts and stuff that I really don’t need as a missionary! :)

Well I am in Texas now and I have a super cool companion. Mom I am so excited. I am sad to leave Sister Brosnahan but I’m excited to go out and to have more changes!!!! I am excited for this new area and to be companions with Sister Singleton. I'm so excited mom, you have no idea. Ever since I got here I have been myself, laughing and cracking jokes and smiling tons and I'm just so excited. I loved Jennings, don’t get me wrong, but I was scared there because of the area, but this area doesn’t seem so scary. I love Sister Singleton and plus Sister Smith is in my zone so I will see her before she heads home in February.

I am so tired today though! I just got to my area around noonish and we got my stuff and it's in the car and my bike is on the outside of the car and I hoping and praying really hard that nothing happens to it. We live so far away from the library that it will waste our miles to go home and come back and Sister Singleton says this is a safe area and people don't do that. So let’s all pray and hope together eh!

But mom I am excited to be here in La Porte Texas. I was really upset at first but then me being here and spending time with Sister Singleton and with the Elders that are in our District, I think it is truly going to be good for me. So in this area that I am in we are with the Elders, like all the time, for real. We drive them places and spend time with them and eat dinner at people’s houses and we are in the same ward! It's crazy! So basically there are four of us all the time! It's pretty cool. It's going to be weird because I am not use to that kind of stuff. But hey, the Lord will always help me. The Elders we are going to hang out with are Elder Tracy and Elder Walker. And it's cool because Elder Walker and I were in the same Zone before and now he is in my District and so I will be hanging out with him some more! Pretty crazy!

Yesterday I had a good day, but also a sad day saying good bye to all my Jennings family that I have met up there. It was hard to say good bye to the Skinners and the Touchets and the Caples and some of our investigators! Transfers are really hard because you get so attached to these families and you grow so much with them and you see how their lives change as they prepare to be baptized! Missionary work is so crazy! Yesterday was cool because it was Fast and Testimony meeting and two families, the Carson and the Guirdy family, got up and bore their testimonies!!! Holy Cow, Sacrament was so powerful yesterday, plus a less active member that tries to come a lot even got up and bore her testimony! It was so cool mom!!

But it is and will always be hard to leave an area that you have grown so much in. I have grown so much from Jennings mom! If you were here, you would be like, “Wow, where is my Emily? The shy and scared to try new things, that struggle in life, Emily!” Mom I am truly changing. Yes I do have bad days and moments and write home about them, but I know I need to look towards the more positive side of things! I really do! Mom I hope this transfer speeds things up and that I won’t feel like time is going so slow like it has been. I think with this being my first transfer and a new area, that things will pick up and start moving!

I bore my Testimony yesterday. I felt the spirit so strong mom! It was so amazing. I just know this wonderful Gospel is so true and that the Book of Mormon is an amazing book and its true. I finished the Book of Mormon on December 31st! Yeah how cool, right before the new year! And I did as Moroni said; to ask God with faith if this book is true. And I have done as Moroni asked us to do even though I have done it before. I just got a wonderful feeling; just a feeling of peace and of the Spirit telling me this is a true book! I started it again on January 1st with the whole mission. With the reading plan they gave us we should have the Book of Mormon done in April sometime. So I am so excited to start reading the Book of Mormon again. I wrote my testimony in my Texas Houston East Book of Mormon and the dates I read it and how long it took. I want to do this to see how much I will learn and grow each time! It's exciting to start to read it again!!

Well I just don't know what else to write ya to tell ya about except that I am excited. I know La Porte is a hard area and that there is tons of work to be done here so I have a long road ahead of me. But I truly believe with the Lord's help I can do it. Even when I have doubts or when life is hard, I know that the Lord is always there! I know my Savior lives and that He died for me and He truly knows all the pains that I go through. Without my Savior and the Atonement and learning to rely on Him, I just don't know how I could do this wonderful Miracle Mission that I am doing now!

I know this Church to be true and I know that the work I am doing is amazing and it's changing families’ lives so they can be Eternal Families Forever! I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon for us to read and to study daily; to learn and to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet today to lead and to guide us! I'm so grateful for my mission and for this wonderful opportunity in my life to grow so much and to become closer to my Father in Heaven.

My mission is blessing me and my family and my dear friends! This Gospel is true! I love it and I am slowly but surely growing to love Missionary work! It's tough, but do you know what? The Lord’s Atonement and Sacrifice was not easy at all, so why should a mission be easy? If things in life were easy then we wouldn't learn, we wouldn't grow, and we wouldn't progress to anything. This Gospel, this Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true! I love it!

Well I got to go, but just know I love ya'll and miss ya tons! And I will write ya'll and tell ya about my new area!!

Love Sister Hawkins