Yesterday was a wonderful day as Frank and I had the opportunity of driving to Utah and attending Sister Smith’s homecoming. Sister Liz Smith was Emily’s first companion in the mission field and she saw Emily through some of her toughest times. She was an amazing trainer and was truly an example of Christ-like love. Sister Smith’s patience, understanding and love helped keep Emily on her mission during a time when she really was not sure she could be a missionary. Sister Smith’s talk was amazing and you could really feel the great love she has for our Heavenly Father, the Savior, and the scriptures. It was a blessing for us to attend the meeting and spend a short time in the Smith home. I was also grateful for the opportunity to personally give Sister Smith a hug and to say “THANK YOU!” Here is the latest email from Sister Hawkins:
Monday, February 21, 2011
So my week has been really crazy the last couple days, aka the last week, with lots of stuff going on like getting a new Elder in our District, trying to follow up on investigators, trying to find myself and trying to be strong and trying my best at teaching lessons. Then to top it off we had someone die in the ward. It's been a hard week. Last night during a lesson I was overwhelmed and had a feeling like someone close to me was lost from my life, like a loved one or family or a dear friend and I think it was because Sister Moldenhauer had called and left a voice mail and she seemed concerned and wanted to have us call back. It worried me a lot because we couldn't call back right away because we had an appointment so during the entire appointment I was kinda crying but trying to keep it in. Luckily we watched the Restoration DVD because I could cry with that movie. The appointment went well and we set a baptism date. I hope it happens for this lady. She works like 12 hours a day and hasn't had a day off so we are hoping the Lord will bless her that she can come to church. But the phone call from Sister Moldenhauer was just seeing how my stomach was and to see if I have had any more pain. I haven’t for the last couple of days except last night on the left side but it went away and I feel okay right now. It's just super weird what is going on with my stomach. I am kinda nervous and scared because it comes all of a sudden. I watch the food I eat and it's not the same food that triggers the pain so it's a weird thing that is going on but the Lord knows about it and He will help me. I just know that He will!
So ya wanna hear about a crazy day that was a good day for me this week!!! Well all day Saturday Sister Singleton and I rode our BIKES!!!!!! Yep, for real, we rode our bikes and boy that was so cool!!! I really felt like a missionary, it's hard to explain. We talked to more people, well Sister Singleton did and I tried. There were some times that I really couldn't talk because I was just too nervous or too scared. But we met two families that were hanging out together and they were having a BBQ. They told us to come over so we did and we talked with them. This one guy really liked my bike, with it being shiny and new and never been ridden, so he asked if he could ride it and try it out. And me being the person not liking to say no, I said “sure”. The whole time I was so worried that he was gonna mess up my bike or get into an accident but luckily he didn't. He came back and my bike was all good. He said thanks and I knew that was a good thing that I did to have them trust us and to build a relationship. But the person who rode my bike does not live in our area but he said he will look over the pamphlet that we give out and get in touch with some missionaries if he is interested. So doing that showed that we are nice people and not rude people ya know.
We biked over 10-15 miles that day!! Boy that was sure a bike work out! I'm so glad I have a big seat for my bike because poor Sister Singleton does not. Her seat is small because she got Sister Smith's bike and this morning she looked at her leg and she has a bruise from riding her bike, it's so funny. But she was sure sore from riding that day. I was kinda too, but it felt so good and we got more involved in our area! I took some cute pictures that I will try to send to you today, if not I will print some at Walmart and send it to you today if I get the chance! But I look pretty cute riding a bike and it was lots of fun even though it was in a skirt. I wore my brown skirt and that is a perfect skirt but the sad thing is its brown. I wish I had a black one like it or a different color to wear with my cloths because it's kinda hard wearing brown with my stuff and plus other missionaries tells me sometimes that brown and black and white just don’t go together, but heck I think I look okay so I just do it anyways ya know. Plus it's my whole wardrobe! But it was fun riding bikes and we are going to do it more often because the price of gas is just super crazy!! We heard from people that it's gonna get up to $5 and that is just so crazy!! Things are just going to be so different when I come home and so I am glad that I am gonna send my bike home when my mission is over so I can ride everywhere with it and save money and plus I will be a pro when I come home riding to church in a skirt because I will have lots of practice on my mission! But ya!
So now for the new Elder! His name is Elder Carson Hunt and he is from West Jordon Utah! And boy he is just an exciting person! He just has so much energy, it's kinda crazy, but he sure loves sharing the Gospel with everyone. He goes up to people and just says “Hi”, and it's kinda weird of how energized he is but its fun to have him around in our District. He is 22 and he didn't really have a testimony till later on in life so he came out later! But he is a cool Elder! We have fun! But it's crazy when all four of us are in the car because Elder Hunt, Elder Walker and Sister Singleton can all sing and so they sing songs and I just kinda listen and hear the pretty voices that they all have. I try to sing but I kinda throw them off so I just listen sometimes! But it is a good District that I have! Elder Walker isn’t the District Leader anymore, we have Elder Fife as our District Leader now and he is a cool Elder! He has a cool companion and Elder Johnson is his name. Elder Johnson will be going home with me when I go so it's cool getting to know him better! But things are fun, but some days are hard but its fun!
I mentioned at the beginning of this letter that a member in our ward died. His viewing is tonight and his funeral is tomorrow. We are going to the funeral and the Elders are singing the Army of Helaman song at the funeral, and they asked Sister Singleton to play her violin at the grave site. She will be playing the Hymn, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". I wasn't asked to do anything but I will just bring the spirit! His name was Max Febbo and he has five boys and one of his sons is on a mission right now and he has only been out for a year but he is staying out on his mission, which is a good thing because his father really loved missionary work and that is what his dad would want him to do. He has a son who is going to graduate high school and another son in high school who is a sophomore. He has older boys too. But it was just a shocker to the family and to everyone else but the Lord knows when it's time to come home to be able to do more work on the other side. It was a cool experience to work with Brother Febbo. He came to an appointment one time and he was a convert to the church. He used to be catholic and we are teaching a catholic right now so it was cool to have Brother Febbo there to bear to our investigator his Testimony of the Gospel! Last transfer we had dinner at their house and boy, he knows so much about the church and he knows a lot about the scriptures. It was fun and cool to be able to learn from him because he knew so much. He went on a mission to Las Vegas, Nevada and he loved it. It was cool to have known him. So on Tuesday it's gonna be hard, it's just a shocker. It's just weird, I have been out for almost 6 months and I have been to 3 funerals. The Lord is just blessing me with my Testimony of the Plan of Salvation. It's super hard to lose someone who you love and someone you knew. But it's easier sometimes to get through that pain because you know in your heart that you will see him again. It's hard but that is why we have the Atonement in our lives to help us. I think some people in this world think that the Atonement is just for our sins, but from being on a mission and learning new things everyday, I know we can use the Atonement for ourselves to lay our burdens on the Lord to have our shoulders seem light. Like with me, I am still trying to give him my fears and anxiety but it's hard because I keep picking them up. I have just grown up with them so long that I just can't let it go but from being on my mission I think by the time I come home all those things will be gone because I will know for myself of how to use the Atonement. The Atonement is a learning process. The Gospel is a learning process because you learn new things each day! You come closer with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and it's just so cool the things that I learn. It's just so neat to start my 3rd journal! I was looking at my last journal and some of the pictures and stuff I put in there and it's just so cool to see my story and my life changing for the better. Missions are so awesome! They are for sure tough but it's so worth it in the end. I am learning that slowly. There are still days that are hard and that I just want to give up and call President Moldenhauer and just say “I am done, I want to go home,” but I can't. I have to finish what I have started or I will fail at different things in life. But that is why we have the Savior there and our Heavenly Father to help us with our trials and tribulations in life! This Gospel is so amazing and I am just learning so much and understanding the Book of Mormon so much more then I have ever in my life. I love reading the stories and applying, well trying to apply them to the best to my abilities to help me on my mission. I see lots of mission related things in the Book of Mormon. I think at the different times of your life that you read the Book of Mormon, you see things a lot more as they relate to you. Like for example when you are a parent and are reading the Book of Mormon you can see parent-related things to help you through that struggle in you life! The Book of Mormon is so amazing! Read it everyday and just apply it to your life!!! It will bless you! It's like a cake, you need to partake of the cake/Book of Mormon and get the goodness out of the Book of Mormon in your life. So read and partake of the wonderful goodness that is in that wonderful book! It will truly bless your life!!!!!
This last Friday at District Meeting we heard the names of my new Mission President we get in July but we don’t know where he is from yet. I will for sure miss President and Sister Moldenhauer! I love them so much and they have helped me on my mission by praying for me and trying to help me out so much on my mission to become more like the Savior. Well I better wrap up this letter to ya! I am gonna go and write to President Moldenhauer right know. So I love you and I love the pictures of the kitchen. They are so beautiful!!! Can't wait to see it in person!
Well I love you all and am so grateful for all the wonderful letters and the pictures that my friends send me! They truly help me out so much! It's a blessing to receive mail as a missionary because it helps ya so much that day! Love it all! Well I will write ya'll next week I love you!!!!!!
Love Sister Hawkins!