Monday, March 21, 2011

A great week but in need of some extra prayers!

A wonderful long letter from Emily today. She really is growing so much. It is great to read these fun letters. As you know Emily has been struggling with stomach pains. I received a call from Sister Moldenhauer this past Friday and they have scheduled Emily for an ultrasound on Wednesday. They are suspecting gall stones and if the ultrasound confirms it, they will need to remove her gallbladder. When I asked Sister Moldenhauer how Emily was handling it all, she told me she was doing remarkably well. She said they have seen such a huge growth in Emily and that she has come so far. They are so proud of her and just really love watching her grow and progress. She did say Emily expressed concern about having to have surgery without her mother there but when Sister Moldenhauer explained that she would be with her and that they would bring her back to the mission home to recover, Emily seemed to be comforted. As soon as I hear if she is going to require surgery, I will post the information. Please continue to remember her in your prayers. You are all so important to Emily and she knows and feels of your love and support.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow it feels like I haven't written to you in a long time but it was just seven days ago; pretty silly uh. P-day last week was super fun! We had two zones meet at North Shore and we played basketball, which was fun except the Elders won’t pass to the Sisters! Then I played Ultimate Frisbee and it was so much fun running around and throwing the Frisbee! I loved running, it felt so good! I miss running! I can’t wait to run 5K’s and marathons when I get home. It’s sad in the mornings because I am too tired to run and that is because I don’t sleep well at night. It’s hard to fall asleep; I sometimes lie in bed and think about all the stuff that I need to get done or worry about how the next day will be. But no worries, I do eventually fall asleep and I am doing well. After Frisbee we came inside and played Ultimate Dodge ball. Boy that was so much fun! That evening we had dinner at the Prigmores and had lots of fun with them. Love the Prigmores!

I saw the doctor last Tuesday and she thinks I have gall stones. So this Wednesday, the 23rd, I am going to have an ultrasound and if I do have stones then I am going to have to have surgery. I'm glad that you got to talk to Sister Moldenhauer a bit about this last Friday. That brings comfort to me. That is so nice that she said so many good things about me; that's really sweet of her. Yes I am nervous to have surgery but like you said in the e-mail you sent me this morning, I will be okay because I have the Lord on my side and I have so many wonderful people praying for me. That was really sweet to have the Relief Society and Young Women praying for me. That truly brings me lots of comfort! I sure have been thinking about the Shelley 8th Ward and my Young Single Adult Branch lately. Boy how I miss everybody. It sure feels like I have been away for a long time. I can still imagine the hall ways and all the wonderful people I would say Hi to every Sunday. It’s sad that people have moved away but its super great to get new people in the ward. When new people move in they bring their own special spirit and it can strengthen the ward even more. It is wonderful to have them share their testimonies and to have our testimonies grow even more!

Well I loved the pictures you sent to me with my email this morning. That hooded towel you made Rylee is so cute and the pictures of the notebooks for Kadie and Ella are cute too. The girls are just gonna love them! You’re the best Grandma ever! I can't wait to have a family of my own so you can spoil my kids and you can babysit a lot for me too. LOL. But don't worry, that's not gonna happen for a while LOL. So it's kinda crazy how long I have been out and that my “Hump Day” is coming pretty quick. Oh Mom, I loved the package for St. Patrick's Day and I just love the sign language book! That made my day! I was so excited for it. I use it all the time looking up words and trying to remember them. I also try to practice signing with Elder Walker even though he is way better than me at signing. Oh and Sister Singleton just freaked out when she saw her “Green Eggs and Ham” book! All my companions I have had just love the book! Even Elder Hunt and Elder Walker like it too! LOL That book is just famous. So mom, since you are just so awesome, maybe you can make a book for every companion I have during my mission and that can be a gift from me and you eh? What do you think? Just let me know eh?

In District Meeting I learned some new things that I have never thought of before and are going to take lots of practice to get use to. I learned that when you are teaching a lesson, giving a talk in church, or making a comment of any kind that is spiritual and you pause and then you say sorry for crying, well my District Leader Elder Fife, told us that President Moldenhauer encourages us not to say sorry, because basically we are saying sorry for inviting the spirit into the room to testify to what you are saying. Ya, so that was a cool thing to learn because I never have thought about that before. So mom, with the amazing lessons you teach to the Young Women or whenever you talk in church, don’t say sorry for crying because you are bringing the Spirit in to testify to the people the things that you are saying are true and it can totally build their testimonies stronger!

Well do you remember that guy I told you about last week, Lauro? Well he was catholic and he told us that he wants to be baptized. How cool is that! He is just the nicest man and he is like 75 years old and he is just so excited to join the church. He loves to come to church because everyone is so kind and very welcoming. He loves the classes because you learn so much and everyone is so involved. It was funny yesterday because in Priesthood he learned about the Word of Wisdom and that is what Sister Singleton and I were going to teach him this week. Well Lauro didn't say anything after class but he was excited to meet with us this next week and we are going to talk to him more about the Word of Wisdom because he drinks coffee. But he really wants to join the church and when someone really feels that way then they will basically quit their old habits. Last Saturday was really neat because Lauro got to attend a baptism. Brother Taylor’s son turned 8 and was baptized. (Brother Taylor is the one who took us to the kick boxing gym.) It was a really good experience for Lauro to see the baptism and also to hear the beautiful musical number that Sister Singleton played on her violin and that the Elders sang. I didn't join in because I wanted just them to do it. I know I can't carry a tune very well and I wanted it to be pretty. They sang “When I am Baptized.” It's that song that talks about the rainbow and it was very beautiful! Lauro is going to get baptized on the first of April so we are so excited for him.

Well I got to see my awesome friend Ken this past week! He is so helping me to learn and grow. If it wasn't for him being here and counseling me then things would be twenty times harder to get through. We had a good talk. I talked to him a little about Roger and how hard it's been for me knowing he isn’t doing Chemo anymore and how it is now in the Lord’s hands. This is so hard, I'm not going to lie, this isn’t easy for me. But I know I need to learn and grow, especial from things that become hard for me to understand and to bear. Probably that is why I have been seeing so many funerals and gaining a testimony little by little and knowing that I will see them again. It's probably to prepare me for Roger which just stinks!! I really wish there could be a way to say good bye or to talk to him but I'm on a mission. I am serving the Lord right now and some things in life I just can't have and it' s hard. But I'm trying my best to put it in the Lord's hand and to rely on Him and to have faith that things will be okay. But please do give Roger a hug and tell him hi for me and that I do miss and love him lots. I sent a Battleship Texas picture to him and I sure hope that he gets it and that it brightens his day.

But back to Ken, we also talked about how teaching is such a struggle for me. Oh, I got this cool letter from Sister Wilson telling me about her mission and she sent me some talks that she had done while on her mission. I haven't read the talks yet but it's on my plan for studies this week and I am super excited to read and study them. Well the next thing Ken wants me to do to help me with my teaching is to be straight forward with the people and to tell them that I am scared to teach and get super nervous. He wants me to tell them why and to tell them I get nervous and I struggle to find the right words and struggle teaching the gospel principles because I know how important they are and that I want the people I am teaching to truly understand what I am teaching. He wants me to tell them that it is so important to me that they truly understand what I am trying to teach and because it is so important to me, I get nervous and scared. I hope that makes sense. But he wants me to be straight forward with people and to just be honest and he wants me to do this five times before we meet again. So we will see how the next couple weeks go of me being honest with people and telling them that I am scared and nervous and that it is because I care. Ken thinks this will be a big help for me when teaching and it will also help me be calmer. Ken wishes more people would be honest with themselves and not try to pretend that they just know it all and can do it without the Lord.

Oh and get this mom. I keep telling Ken that I just don't want to be a trainer because training is a big thing and it would be scary to teach a new missionary the ropes. But he thinks that I will be training because I have a kind heart and a love for people and that is what a trainer needs to have. He told me that if I do what he wants me to do in telling people the truth, that it will make me such a better trainer and that I will be able to be honest and caring. So mom we are going to see what's going to happen because in two transfers when Sister Singleton leaves in June we are getting lots of new Sister Missionaries. It is going to be interesting! For real! But it was a really good visit with Ken. He is super cool! Hopefully you can meet Ken one day; maybe you and dad can when we come back to see my mission! Cool Uh!

Well guess what Mom, transfer phone calls are on Saturday and I think that Sister Singleton will be leaving me and its super sad because we have fun together and it's just been good and she has just helped me out so much! It’s going to be super hard if she goes because then some stress comes for me having to know the area and the people to go teach. Man sometimes you just got to love being a missionary! Just lots of stress and work to do! But do ya know it's great. I was thinking today as I was driving up to the college library that this mission kinda feels like college life. Now just hear me out on this. On my mission I meet lots of cool people that we teach and also lots of awesome missionaries that are going to be lifelong friends and we are together for a while but then comes the time to go home and graduate from all the things that we have done. It's like I am in college learning so much about the Gospel and learning about the Doctrine of Christ and learning how to apply things to my life so it can always help me as I go through the challenges that I go through. And when my mission is over I graduate accomplishing the things that I needed to do for the Lord and to come out changed and to be more like my Savior Jesus Christ. Now how cool is that? I just thought of that cool idea this morning. But it's fun being with the missionaries and our investigators of the church and also members because we have lots of fun times but we do have some low times which can be hard and so challenging that sometimes we just don't know how to get through them. But that is what is cool; we learn on missions to really rely on the Lord and not anybody else and to learn to have faith in yourself and that things are just going to be okay! Isn't that just so cool! I hope you like that.

Well mom, writing this letter seems kinda weird because I am just writing the things of my heart. Just thinking about the things that I have written to you, I am so different, Holy Texas! LOL! Mom it's cool to see me change even though there are some days that I don't see me changed. But it's great all the things I am learning as a missionary that I probably never would have ever learned if I didn’t' serve a mission. Just thinking about me now serving a mission … it's just WOW!!! Just so awesome. Wow mom, I'm doing this! But I'm for sure not doing this mission by myself! I am for sure doing this wonderful work for the Lord! He has carried me so far and He is going to continue to carry me and also to let me fall a little to let me learn things to help me learn and grow! WOW!!! I'm just so surprised at myself mom and I bet the whole family is because everyone back home knows the real me; the really scared little girl that went through so much growing up and had to climb mountains that were just so steep! But now look at me; I am climbing by myself with the Lord and do you know what, it's a miracle. I'm so blessed to be in the Texas Houston East Mission because that is all we talk about is miracles and we hear lots of miracle stories of how we find those lost sheep and we teach them and we help them come back to the Lord's fold. It's just amazing all the things I am learning, all the things I am experiencing, and all the cool places I get to see as a missionary. I really super encourage anyone to go on a mission. Just go and watch yourself change! It's so cool! Mom I just can't wait for that day to come home and to have you see me changed; not on the outside but for sure on the inside! You’re going to be like Holy Texas! LOL, where is Emily!

Mom, thanks for the support. Thanks for not giving up on me and for always helping me and telling me that I can do it. Mom, you are just an amazing mom and you are just making my mission the best with all the awesome packages and the wonderful letters of support and for doing the blog for people to read and see me change and keep updated on me. It's a blessing to have you in my life and for you to be my mom. And I am for sure grateful to dad for teaching me the small things that matter in life like how to manage money and to be a tough worker and to keep working when you don't want to work anymore. And the most important thing that you and dad have taught me is to serve. You taught me to serve with all that I have and to give more than 100%. Do service and just love doing it! So mom and dad thank you for being my parents and for raising me in the church and for never giving up on the little scared Emily! I love you both so much! And also thank you to all the wonderful people back in Shelley and to my extended family in Canada and the US. I couldn't even get through some of the weeks I have gone through without all the wonderful letters or packages that I get from so many awesome people. Thanks ya'll. I love you so much!!! Ya'll are the super best!

Well mom you’re probably crying right now just so amazed that you don't know me anymore and to just see how much I am growing. But hey that's what I do … I make ya cry because I love ya! :)

Well its official; I have sadly, very sadly, gained all the weight back I had lost before my mission and it totally stinks. It really stinks! : ( But hey, I wouldn't change it for the world for all the things I am learning and how I am changing. But you and dad can for sure give me a wonderful present when I come home by making sure the Anytime Fitness account that I froze is turned on so the day after I get home I can start back up in the gym and get my life back together. I don't want to be this way and I want to be healthy. I learned from Church on Sunday about the Word of Wisdom and to keep our bodies healthy and full of energy so that we will be able to do anything. Well as a missionary you can't go to a gym for two hours and you really can't control what you eat. But you have to make that sacrifice to go and do the Lord’s work. I'm trying to accept that I have gained all my weight back and it for sure is not easy but I'm trying my best to eat slow and not have seconds and for sure to drink lots of water! Especially now, it's getting hot and it bites having long hair in this weather because basically it's up in a pony tail every day, but I'm for sure not cutting my hair for right now, I don't think. But it is for sure getting long! :) I'm kinda getting the length of Melanie and of Rachel which is pretty cool! :)

Well mom I want to tell you a quick story before ending my letter because I have to write President but I have to wait for Sister Singleton to do it first because she is senior companion. So this last week the Relief Society had a birthday party celebrating Relief Society and there is a wonderful lady in the ward and her name is Sister Gale and she shared a really cool story that I would love to share:

There was this lady and she had a family so every day she would go get water for her family. She used two big pots and she would put a stick across her shoulders and put one pot on each side of her and walk down to the water, fill the pots and come back. One of the pots was very nice and pretty and in good condition and the other pot had a big crack that went all the way from the top to the bottom of the pot. Well everyday she would use these two pots to fetch water for her family. The old cracked pot always wondered why the old lady kept using such an old pot instead of a nice new one. So one day the cracked pot asked the lady why she uses such an old pot. The pot told her it was useless and not worth anything to the lady anymore. The lady said to the cracked pot, “You mean a whole lot to me. You have done so much good for me! Have you ever noticed the side of the path we walk back home on every day?” And the cracked pot said, “No.” She went on to say, “You have made my flowers that I planted grow so pretty and on the other side of the path there is nothing.” And so the pot realized its worth.

Sister Gale shared that story with us and told it a whole lot better than I did but I really loved that story and I hope to get a copy of it. But, she referred it back to home teaching and Relief Society and how we all need to do our part and share our water/testimonies to the less active and to go out and do service and do our best for the Lord. I hope that story made sense but it's so true, we as members of the church need to do go visiting teaching and home teaching and to share our testimonies of the gospel and to be friends to those people who need our water!

Well mom it's time for me to write President Moldenhauer because the Elders and Sister Singleton are almost done with e-mailing. I hope you enjoy my letter and also have a lot of fun this week with Melanie and her family. Please take pictures and send me copies. And please be safe and I know Jackon’s car will do fine! It's the best car ever! Why … because for one, it was mine before my mission and for two, you have a daughter who is on a mission! Lol, plus I know the Lord will be watching over ya'll.

Well I can't wait to go to the temple tomorrow. I hope I have a little money for the bookstore and also I am going to be spending extra money today making cd's for me and for my last companion because she didn't have a camera and so I am making a copy of pictures of us to send to here because in 7 weeks she is going to be going home. I hope that is okay. Oh and also pictures for my journal.

I love you so much and thanks for everything. I can't wait to hear about the trip. Have fun and love ya lots! The Lord is watching over me. He really is! I’m grateful to Him for all He does for me.

Love Sister Hawkins!!!

P.S. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints it TRUE!!!! :)

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