Monday, April 25, 2011

When it rains, it pours!

Final reminder of the Hump Day Package letters … I need them by the end of this week. Thank You!!!

So I waited all morning for my regular email from Emily. It didn’t come and it didn’t come. Then finally it comes just shortly after noon and in the subject line of the email it says, “Pictures, Don’t Freak Out.” So I quickly open the email and this is what it said:

I will tell you all what happened in my e-mail today, but yes, Sister Kinikini and I got in a car accident. Sister Mitchell, the Relief Society President, is going to call you when she gets time but I will tell ya in the e-mail okay. I am okay, I got a sprain back, and Sister Kinikini got whiplash!

So I now had three pictures of a wrecked car and no other details. I, of course, am wondering when did this accident occurred, who was driving, whose fault was the accident, and what is a sprain back?

I then had to wait another 40 minutes to hear from Emily again with all the details. This is what she wrote:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hey Mom,

So basically you have seen the car pictures by now and so you’re probably wondering when all this happened. Well this happened on Saturday night. We were going to pick up Elder Hunt and Elder Johnson, the Zone Leader, for dinner. Elder Walker was on exchanges that day. Well Sister Kinikini was driving and we were doing a u-turn to go the other way. She checked her side mirrors and a guy that was speeding and really not paying attention t-boned us! Yeah for real! I wasn't really sitting properly because of my surgery. I had the chair kinda laying down but I was kinda sitting up and when he hit us my back and the whole front of me just froze and I couldn't breathe. I was like "KINIKINI!” I was so worried and scared for her and then I was like, "My Back, are you okay Kinikini?" She was fine but boy was I in a lot of pain. Then a whole bunch of stuff was going through my head; crap my surgery and what does this mean, what if there is a back problem? So I was scared and this was my first time in a car accident.

Just before we got hit, I was on the phone with the Elders so when we got hit the phone flew out of my hand and the battery came out so we had to look for all the pieces of the phone before we could call anyone. Then we called the Elders to come find us on the street near them. At first they thought we were teasing but we told them we were not and to get over here fast. The guy in the other car was like our age and he was limping out of his car and his car got hit on the front right side. His car was still drivable but our car wouldn't stay turned on and wouldn't move.

The police showed up and we called a ward member, Monica, because we had just been at her house before we left to go get the Elders to bring them back for dinner. We asked her to bring our bags and to come be with us. Boy did she show up quick! Luckily her mom was over at the house to watch her kids since she is a single parent and she was a really big help. My back was just in a lot of pain, especially the lower back, and the police asked if a paramedic should come and Monica told them yes. So they came and then the police told him about my back hurting so then the paramedic held my neck in place till an ambulance came. Then the ambulance came and they talked to me and I told them I didn’t want to pay for the ride and so I had to sign a paper so I couldn't sue them in case there really was a bad problem with my back. So we got everything out of our car and we loaded it up in Monica's car along with the Elders and their bikes and we all headed back to Monica's to get a blessing and then to see what to do. During that time we called Sister Moldenhauer and we told her what happened and she asked how I was doing. I told her I was really hurting and so she called Missionary Medical and got it approved to have me go into Urgent Care which is kinda like an emergency room.

So when we got to Monica's, Elder Hunt gave me a blessing and it was a really cool blessing mom. In the blessing it told me that I will get better and my back will heal and that the adversary is just working hard on me because of all the good work that I am doing and to keep holding strong and to have courage and that the Lord loves me. Then Sister Kinikini got a blessing and she loved hers; Elder Johnson gave her the blessing. Soon after the blessings, I got a feeling like something wasn't right so that made me decide to really go to Urgent Care! So Monica's mother, Carmen, took us to Urgent Care. We got me all signed in and then came the waiting game. Meanwhile Elder Walker and Huggentobler had returned to switch back after being on exchanges. At first Elder Walker didn't believe the accident had really happened until we were like "NO JIVING" which means no lie, and so pretty soon he showed up. When he saw me he was like, “Wow Sister Hawkins, you just have all the fun!” Then a few minutes passed and Elder Walker pulled me and Sister Kinikini aside and asked if I wanted them to stay and wait to see what the doctor said but I told him no because I figured it was going to be a long night, so he told us to call when we got the results.

So three hours went by and I finally got in and I had to do a urine test and had x-rays taken. It took two more hours to do all that and then the results came back that my surgery is still okay and that since I didn't have strong core muscles when the car hit us that it sprained my back. So the results are I have a sprained back. And can I just say that it is such a pain. It’s hard to walk around and I can't carry anything because it hurts my back. So it's been tough and this is slowing me down even more. I sure feel bad that we went to urgent care when it came back as a sprain. I feel bad that the church insurance and you and dad are gonna have to pay for it. But anyways, we are doing okay. We will be getting our car back later today so we won’t be without a car and I think I have to drive all the time now because Sister Kinikini can't drive for a while since she was driving when we had the car accident unless I take my pain pills then I can't drive. I was also given muscle relaxers too.

But wow, lots of stuff happening to me uh. Just one thing after another and it's funny of how the adversary it trying to be hard on me trying to make me want to quit and go home, even though I must say, just to lay around and be lazy would make my back so much better until I am fully recovered, but it's not going to stop me from doing my best to do the Lord's work. But it is making me stronger. On Mother's day I will have to give you full details of the accident. But don't worry, I'm okay and Sister Kinikini is okay. It really could have been worse; he could have hit the side of Sister Kinikini and she could be way worse. I know the Lord watched over us that day.

Well I hope you enjoy the other pictures I sent ya. The one with the little prairie dog belonged to a lady we tracted into. She is not interested but she liked talking to us and just wanted to show us her animals. I thought it was cool; who would have ever thought I would get to hold a prairie dog eh!

Well today I go see the stomach doctor which is good. My incision under my belly button doesn't look good and plus he is taking out the stitches so that's gonna hurt! But I will have Sister Kinikini there to be with me.

Oh my, I just loved the Easter package you sent me. It was fun. I opened it up with Sister Kinikini and the Elders because I knew you were sending them a little something too. They knew about the Green Eggs and Ham book that I have and they have been wanting one. And it was funny because I didn't think that you were gonna really make them one so when I was going through the box and handing out all the stuff, Holy Texas! Elder Walkers eyes popped out and he was so, so, so excited and Elder Hunt was like, “No way, your mom didn't!” And he was like, “heck ya!” And they loved your letters mom! Thank you for doing that! It means a whole lot to them. Mom, you’re the best!

Well mom I don't have much time but I just wanted to let ya know I have three, yes three, flat rate boxes to send home and I am going to try to mail them off this week so look out for them. And also we are gonna have fun at the Prigmores tonight; we are going to get pedicures and they can't pay for all of us so I'm gonna use money. But anyways I love you and thanks for being the best mom ever! Sorry for a short letter but we didn't have a car this morning and the library opens late in La Porte plus we had to get a member to drive us to the library and even to my doctor’s appointment today. But I love you and I hope to hear from you soon!

Love Sister Hawkins

As Emily’s parents, we are very grateful that the Lord was watching over her and Sister Kinikini this past Saturday night. We constantly marvel at Emily’s strength as she has faced many obstacles these past few weeks. First dealing with the death of her dear friend Roger Waters, then the ever increasing stomach pains which ultimately led to having her gallbladder removed and then this car accident which is now causing back pain. Unfortunately she has one more obstacle to deal with as sadly we had to put our family dog of fourteen years to sleep this past Friday. Emily and Buddy were extremely close and this is also going to be hard for her to hear. Not quite sure how we are going to tell her just yet, probably through a letter. But we know Emily gets stronger every day and that she has learned to rely on her Father in Heaven. She is never alone and she will get through this too. Thank you for your continued support and prayers; they have been such a strength to Emily … she has almost made it “HALF WAY!”

Here are the other pictures she sent us today … much better than the wrecked car!

Elder Hunt and Elder Walker
(Emily is so grateful to be able to work with
such strong, worthy Priesthood holders!)

My "Get Well" flowers and balloons

Sister Kinikini with a prairie dog!

I am holding a prairie dog!!!
Isn't he cute!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Emailed while at the Mission Home

Emily emailed me a day earlier this week since she was at the mission home. It was great to finally hear from her all about the surgery and the events leading up to it. Emily actually called Wednesday night after her surgery and spoke with her dad. I was at Mutual and unfortunately missed out on talking with her so I have been anxiously awaiting this email. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Our family received so many kind words of encouragement this past week and they all meant so much. We are blessed with so many wonderful friends and family.

Just another reminder … Emily’s Hump Day is coming up and I am still collecting letters for her Hump Day Package. For details click on the Hump Day Package blog post. Thank you!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dear Mom,

Well good afternoon on a wonderful Sunday day! I am at the mission home still and Sister Moldenhauer is letting me e-mail today because I cant sit up straight yet and so I am on a very comfy chair that allows me to not sit straight up! Well you are all probably wondering how I am doing here at the mission home. I got to talk to dad when I called which I think was very special to him because when does a dad just get a phone call to talk to their daughter on a mission. Mom it was very neat to talk to dad. I feel that me being on a mission is making me and dad lots closer. I even told dad he needed to write me more. I know things can get busy but hey if you can write me twice a week then I think dad can try to get a letter in once in a while lol.

Well being at the mission home has truly been a wonderful blessing. President and Sister Moldenhauer are just the best and my relationship with them has grown so much since Wednesday. There is such a wonderful spirit in the home which is so amazing to have. I just feel so at peace and so much love in the mission home! It's the best place ever. But it's sad they will be leaving the mission home soon because they have to get it ready for the new Mission President. They will be staying at a motel during the final part of their mission. It's sad that their time is coming to an end and that I will be getting a new Mission President soon! But I know that change can be a good thing because it helps us grow and become stronger to overcome things in life!

Well I'm gonna tell ya my experience of having to do this whole surgery thing by myself! Monday we went to see the doctor and after looking at the test results he said I had sludge in my gall bladder but he didn't see any stones and that he wasn't for sure that it was my gall bladder causing the pain and so he didn't want to do surgery yet. Well you know me, I show my feelings so well on my face and he could see that I was upset. I was very lucky to have Sister Moldenhauer at this doctor’s appointment with me because if she hadn’t been there to push for the next test and then to push for surgery, I wouldn't have had my surgery this last week! So the doctor suggested doing a medicine test on my gall bladder to see how it was doing and how well it was working and that was a two hour test in which I wasn’t allowed to move. Sister Moldenhauer and I decided to go that route. I thanked Sister Moldenhauer for coming with us that day and Sister Kinikini and I planned to go to the doctors for the test the next day! So for the rest of Monday night I was pretty worried for this test because I just didn't know if this test would tell us if the problem was my gall bladder because the doctor said that my symptoms weren't really connecting to gall bladder problems.

Tuesday Sister Kinikini and I headed up to the hospital in North Shore and when I got there to sign in I had problems with insurance. Because I had put dad's insurance first they wanted me to pay $1,700 up front before having the test!! Yeah, I was like what?!? So I called Sister Moldenhauer and she talked to them and we decided to put Missionary Medical first and not worry with dad's insurance anymore. So that made things better but then they got me worried because they told me I needed to call Dr. Karni who was going to do the surgery because he might not accept Missionary Medical (but I'll let ya know what happens later in the story if they took it or not.) Well then came time to go do the test where I don't move for two hours!!! Sister Kinikini couldn't come back with me so I followed a nice nurse and I had to lay down with my right arm above my head and then my left arm to the side for the IV they had to use to inject me with the medicine. Boy, can I tell you how hard that was … VERY HARD. I kinda have a cough and so there were a couple times where I tried not to cough and I did pretty well though. So when the test got over with, we went to get something to eat. We couldn't go back to our own area because I had another doctor’s appointment at three o’clock and Sister Moldenhauer wanted us to stay in North Shore so we would not waste miles. So after getting something to eat we went and sat in the parking lot and Sister Kinikini slept and I did my best to try to catch up on my journal since I was so far behind!

Well then three o'clock came and we went in and told them I was there. I had told Sister Moldenhauer earlier that the doctor might not take Missionary Medical and she told me they would and that I just needed to talk to them before I went in. So I did that and they did accept Missionary Medical and they just dismissed dad's insurance for the surgery but used it for the office visit so I had to pay the copay. Sister Kinikini and I went in to see the doctor and the funny thing is I actual saw the doctor’s son, Dr. Karni. He said the test went well and showed my gall bladder was fine but the test did show that there are some very small gall stones. He then said I had a couple of options; he said I could do some more tests where I swallow a camera and have it go through my stomach and do a CAT scan to look at all my insides to see what was the problem or he said we can say it's your gall bladder and do surgery. Well by this time I was so overwhelmed and just didn't know what to do so I had a very strong feeling to call Sister Moldenhauer. So we made the phone call and she talked to the doctor along with us on speaker phone. She said she had a strong feeling that we just needed to do the surgery and get the gall bladder out. She said she would call my parents and that we were to schedule the surgery. So we did just that, we scheduled the surgery for Wednesday, the very next day. They then sent me back to the building where I had had my test earlier and I had to sign all the paperwork to do the surgery and they had to take my blood and so all that took another couple of hours, so basically all of Tuesday was doctor’s appointments and tests.

After finally after getting everything set up for the next day, we went to our scheduled dinner appointment and ate pizza. The doctor had asked me earlier if certain foods triggered pain … well that night it for sure did with the pizza!! I felt really bad because I was in a lot of pain after dinner which made the member feel a little bad. I was sitting across from the Elders and they felt bad for me because I was in pain and poor Sister Kinikini couldn't do anything but just be there for me. But besides me being in pain, we had a good time. Before going to dinner Sister Kinikini and I had to make a lot of phone calls cancelling appointments and letting people know we weren't going to be there. So needless to say, Tuesday had been a very overwhelming day.

Earlier Sister Moldenhauer had told me I needed to get a blessing from the Elders before my surgery (which I was going to do anyways). So Tuesday night I received a wonderful blessing from Elder Walker and Elder Hunt. The Spirit was so strong during the blessing. I was told the Lord was pleased with my faith and courage during everything I had been going through to prepare for the surgery. I was also told that I would get relief from my pain after the surgery. There were many other wonderful things said also that were very special to me. After the blessing I told the Elders how grateful I was to receive a blessing from two worthy Priesthood holders. Elder Walker and Elder Hunt are the best!

After the blessing, we went back to our apartment and I got packed for surgery. Wednesday morning we picked up the Elders because they were driving us to the hospital which I was very grateful for. On the way up I sat in the front and Elder Walker drove. He kept me calm and we were all just trying to have fun in the car so I wouldn't think about the surgery. So the original plan was to get to the hospital by 8:15 a.m. and get all prepped and ready and then wait two hours for surgery which was schedule for 11:00 o'clock. But on the way there the hospital called and asked where I was and said they wanted me there as soon as possible because they had moved the surgery and wanted to do it as soon as I got there. So when I got off the phone I told Elder Walker that he needed to step on it to get to the hospital! And so he did! He drove faster to the hospital! On the way to the hospital I was getting more nervous and Elder Walker said, “Sister Hawkins, say a prayer by yourself.” So I did and I felt better. We got to the hospital and it was funny because Elder Walker and I were out of the car ready to go and Sister Kinikini and Elder Hunt were still in the car so I was hitting the back of the car saying, “Come on, we need to go!” Then Elder Walker slams his hand on the back of the car (LOL) and said in a stern voice, “Come on guys, she needs to be in there now to get ready for surgery!” And then they got moving. So while we were walking in I looked over at Elder Walker and he was just smiling and I said to him, “Boy you look happy!” He said, “I'm just happy and excited for you.” I was like why, and he said, “You’re not going to be in pain anymore! Then I laughed and said, “Well I'm glad someone is happy for me.” LOL.

So we hurried in and went to the right place and waited for them to call my name. Sister Moldenhauer then showed up and right after she got there they called me back. I asked if someone could come and they said no but said I could see one person before surgery. So I looked at all of them and said good bye and just walked off not crying and just going with the nurse, kinda like I did at the MTC, but this time I didn't say out loud, “Let's Do This!” But can you believe it? I went back there all by myself and I got all ready.

Well I got all set and I was crying a bit because I was nervous and scared but I had nice nurses and they were kind to try to keep me calm and the guy who put me to sleep was really nice. Well I had my IV on the top of my left hand and boy did that hurt while they put it in! Wow! Lucky I had a pro for a nurse to put in the IV for me. Well then there was no time to see anyone before surgery and so they wheeled me into the operating room. The room was big and cold and really white. I got onto the surgery table. And then the guy who puts me to sleep finally said, “Sweet dreams!”

Then I woke up and I was in so much pain!!! Holy Texas did that hurt like no other. Then I had a rude nurse who told me to stop crying and I kept saying sorry but it really hurts!! Finally they gave me more pain medicine and I heard on the other side of the curtain the nurses where talking and said, “Ya, I gave her more medicine because she wouldn't stop crying and she can't endure the pain. That made me feel like crap but I in my head I was saying to myself, “Well you go have a gall bladder taken out and let me see how you feel when you wake up.” But I was nice to the nurse. I kept asking for my friends because I remember when I had my very first surgery you told me to tell the nurses that I wanted my mom when I woke up. Well I tried that and I kept asking for my friends and they kept saying no. I was so mad. I was alone and just hurting. They told me I had to be in recovery for a while till I stopped crying and the pain went away. I did my best to stop crying and I just said little prayers to help me get through this and to help the pain to stop so I could see Sister Moldenhauer and my companion and the Elders! Yeah the Elders stayed through the surgery! Well then finally I got to go back to the room where I started and then I asked to see my friends and she went to go get them and she said they weren't out there. Boy that made me feel low. She told me she told the people at the desk if someone comes to ask how I was doing they would send someone back to see me. So then I was alone for like a half hour, boy do you know how hard it was to be alone. It was hard, but hey I did it. Then the doctor came to see me and said everything went well and that the gallbladder was bad and that I should feel better now. He asked if I needed anything and I said I would like to see my friends. By that time I felt sick and felt like I was going to throw up and he put his foot down to the nurses to go get my friends. Well then came in Sister Kinikini and boy did I start crying. I was so glad to see her! And she stayed with me and I just told her all that happened. Then the nurse brought in some nausea medicine and then she went to go get Sister Moldenhauer. She came in I started to cry again and she told me the Elders left after they knew I was okay. She stayed with me and I got so tired from the nausea medicine so Sister Moldenhauer and I took a nap together.

Well a few hours went by and then it was time for me to leave. I felt a little better but I for sure just wanted to get out of there. Sister Moldenhauer and the nurse helped me get dressed. Then they wheeled me out to the car and we were off. I thanked the nurse for all her help and mom, I even got two contacts with the nurses; one when I got out of surgery when I told her I had no family but just friends because I was on my mission and then the nurse who helped me get dressed. Sister Moldenhauer and I did it together. Pretty funny uh! Well I still have to be a missionary even though I was pretty ill. LOL. We first had to go back to La Porte for some stuff for Sister Kinikini because she was going to be working in Kingwood which was her last area and she needed stuff and we had to go get the keys from the Elders because they are going to have the car while we are gone since they are in a bike area. I was excited to be able to see them and say hi! They gave me some water so I could take my pills.

After seeing the Elders we went to Walgreens for my medicine, then the apartment, and then headed to the mission home. I had taken some pain medicine which made me sleep until we arrived at the mission home. Then when I got there, President Moldenhauer came up to me and gave me hug. lol He doesn't hug Sisters but he said if you have surgery you get a hug! I then went to go sleep. So that was my surgery experience! Pretty exciting stuff. I couldn't take a shower until Thursday night, and HOLY TEXAS!!!! That hurt so bad just moving around and just showering!!! Man that hurt! But over time it is getting better.

Thursday was also the day I got your flowers! I was sleeping and when I woke up I saw the flowers and I was so surprised and then I read the card and I just cried because I felt so much love from my wonderful parents, and I knew that you were thinking of me!

But my body feels so much better. I don't hurt anymore. I don't feel sick anymore. I feel so much better and that is so amazing. I hurt from the cuts; I got cut in my belly button (so my belly button isn’t cute anymore) and then a cut below my belly button and then I think two or three on my right side under my ribs then one right in the middle below my chest. So it's been challenging to sit; I can walk and stand pretty well, but not for too long because it starts to hurt. It will take time to be able to just sit. But besides the hurting, it's been so much fun here at the mission home. I'm gonna try to send ya pictures of me here. I didn't get any pictures in the hospital because of how rushed we were, but at least I have some at the mission home and even some pictures of making cinnamon rolls with Sister Kinikini and Sister Moldenhauer; that has been fun. I even got to go shopping with her yesterday in my pj's; just me and Sister Moldenhauer, and we washed the car and went food shopping so we could have soup for today! It's been fun being with Sister Moldenhauer and even President; he is so funny! It's been a huge blessing being here and having them help me get better. But I must say, my eating habits have been so different. The last few days I have been eating just Saltine Crackers and lets see, Saltine Crackers and more Saltine Crackers and some apple juice and some more Saltine crackers. I once tried some tomato soup and well, that didn't go well with my stomach. I have been eating a couple yogurts and some dry cereal but that is mostly it. I really don't fancy food anymore. The doctor said I would be able to tell when some foods bothered my stomach and so for a while I need to be easy on some of the food that I eat. So that is what I am doing. I did have some yummy home made chicken soup and a half of cinnamon roll today. But ya, not much of an eater anymore. It's gonna be hard eating at members houses so I'm just gonna be bringing some food with me like soup when we have dinner appointments.

Well I'm heading back to La Porte tomorrow afternoon, and I will be checking my e-mail tomorrow morning so hopefully mom you have written me so I can read what you wrote. It's weird not getting letters from ya since I'm in the mission home but I can't wait to hear from you tomorrow morning. I got a letter from one of the girls in Young Womens, Aubrey. It was a very sweet letter. I'm gonna try to write her tomorrow. But mom I'm doing well! I am sorry I didn't get to talk to you on Wednesday but it was really good for me and dad to talk, but hey I get to talk to you in a couple weeks! But I love you so much and I'm doing so much better not being in pain anymore. There are reasons why I had to have surgery and go through this trial… and I just don't know why now but some day I will know why, but the trials I go through are making me so much stronger and helping me become who I need to become!

But I can't wait to go back out and work; it's been nice to rest and can you believe it, I got all caught up on my journal so I am up to date! I'm gonna need you to send me a new journal as soon as you can because I have about a week left of writing in my journal! Can you believe I'm going to be on my 4th Journal!!! How amazing is that? I can't believe it. There are not a lot of people that keep journals on their mission which is really sad. But I'm so grateful for what Wade told me before my mission and kinda put it into my head to write about everyday of my mission! I'm so grateful I am doing it! It's going to be such a huge blessing in the future to read it and to also share with ya'll when I get home! What a huge blessing! But if you could send me another journal that would be so great. Thanks mom you are truly the best. Thanks for all the wonderful support and the many prayers and for doing my blog so people can know how I am doing.

Well I got to go I love you so much and I hope you enjoy this wonderful letter of all the wonderful experiences that I am having on my mission. I love you and I will write to you soon! With lots of love! Love ya'll

Love Sister Hawkins

Thursday evening after my first shower ... ouch!

This was me at a district meeting in Kingwood.
(Not my own La Porte district)
They thought it would be good for me to get out
so I did and I was on the couch the whole time!

My favorite chair in the Mission Home!

Sister Singleton stayed with me one day while
Sister Moldenhauer went with President. 
I wanted Sister Kinikini to work as much as she
could with other missionaries so Sister Singleton
stayed with me.  It was fun to catch up and to talk!

Sister Kinikini and Sister Moldenhauer making cinnamon rolls!

All three of us ... President Moldenhauer took the picture!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Surgery was a success!!

Sister Moldenhauer called me just shortly after Emily came out of surgery. She was still not yet awake and Sister Moldenhauer figured it would be about an hour before they could see her and then a couple more hours before they could take her home.  So my guess is that Emily will probably go home sometime mid afternoon.

The surgeon said everything went really well and that the gallbladder was indeed diseased and even had some lesions on it so it was definitely the right decision to remove it.  He said Emily should feel much better now. I think they are going to keep Emily at the mission home through the weekend and she then has a followup doctor's appointment on Monday.

Sister Moldenhauer said Emily did really well leading up to the surgery. She got a blessing last night and was fine this morning when they took her to the hospital. She said Emily is a different person and that although everyone experiences growth on their mission, Emily's has been huge and she is not the same scared little girl they had arrive at the mission home back in September.

Sister Moldenhauer also told me that if Emily feels she needs to call me later today then she will let her call me but if she is doing fine and does not need to talk to me than I may not hear from her which I am just fine with that. I am so proud of this kid, she just keeps climbing over those mountains!

Thank you all for your prayers.

Emily's Mom

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Surgery is scheduled

Sister Moldenhauer called to let me know about the results of Emily’s HIDA scan. Unfortunately this scan was also not as conclusive as the doctor was hoping for. He did however say he thought he could see a few small stones and after examining Emily again, he really feels the pain she has been having is exactly where the gallbladder is located. After more discussion between Sister Moldenhauer, Emily and the doctor, they have decided to go ahead and remove her gallbladder. Both Sister Moldenhauer and Emily felt strongly that this is what needed to be done. Emily is pretty discouraged and really tired of dealing with the pain.

Emily’s surgery is scheduled for 9 a.m. (Texas time zone) tomorrow, Wednesday April 13th. Both President and Sister Moldenhauer will be at the hospital with Emily and they will then take her back to the mission home to recover. It should only be a day procedure and she will probably be at the mission home for a few days after that.

Emily will be calling me sometime tomorrow after the surgery. I will post again after I have heard from her. Thank you all for your love and prayers. Hopefully in a week from now Emily will be back full-time doing what she loves … being a missionary!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Still another medical test needed!!!

I just got off the phone with Sister Moldenhauer letting me know how Emily’s appointment went with the surgeon today. Unfortunately he said the Ultra Sound did not show conclusively that she has stones but there is definitely sludge (whatever that means). The doctor said that the area she is having the pain is where the gallbladder is located but he wants to be sure that taking the gallbladder out is going to take care of her pain so he has ordered a Hepatobiliary (HIDA) scan. I looked up what this test was on the internet and it said this: In this test, a doctor injects a special radioactive dye into a vein in your arm and takes pictures to see whether the gallbladder is working normally. This test can also reveal other problems, such as blocked bile ducts. Emily is schedule to have this test tomorrow at 9 a.m. (Tuesday, April 12th) and she will then go back to see the surgeon at 3:00 p.m. He did say if he then feels it is the gallbladder that he can take it out as early as Wednesday (April 13th). Sister Moldenhauer said she would call me tomorrow after the appointment. She also said that Emily is getting tired of this and that they are all praying that this is the problem and that removing it will take care of things. I will post tomorrow when I hear more news. Also just a reminder that I am working on Emily’s Hump Day Package. If you do not know what I am talking about or want more information click on the earlier “Hump Day Package” post. Meanwhile enjoy today’s email along with some fun pictures.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hey Mom,

Well today is the day!!! Yeah, we get to figure out what is going on and when to have the surgery! I just can't wait to ask questions and to get answers about a lot of things! I'm nervous though, wondering how they are going to do the surgery! But Sister Moldenhauer said that she is going to ask questions too and take notes and will call you after my appointment is all done! President Moldenhauer is not coming today, only Sister Moldenhauer and of course my awesome companion Sister Kinikini! But Sister Moldenhauer told me last night that President Moldenhauer will be there when I have my surgery! And it sounds like I will be having the surgery up at North Shore because that is where my appointment is today! But I sure do wish you were here Mom. I know I am a big girl and I need to do things on my own but when it's dealing with surgery you just always want your Mom around!

Well this week I was talking with the Relief Society President and I thought I should tell her what has been going on with me. She told me she wished that I would have told her sooner but she made me promise to call her today to let me know when I am having surgery so the ward can help out! I just love Sister Mitchell! She is just so awesome! She and her family is just my family here! I just love them to pieces! I told her I will more than likely give her your cell number to have her call you, to keep you more updated on some things, so you will probably get a call from her soon! She is just a loving, caring person and you will just love talking to her! Her daughter is up at BYU-I right now and I told her if Kristen needs anything to let me know and I will let my family know. But I know when you two talk that she will have your phone number and if her daughter needs help with anything, well I know you will be there to help her! Sister Mitchell is so cool and nice because she gave me these vitamin pills. I take two pills of fruit in the morning and then two pills at night that are vegetables and she said they are going to help my healing process more because it helps your body with the vitamins that you need from veggies and fruit. So I'm testing them out! So Sister Mitchell is really looking after me! Things are going to be okay. I will for sure get a blessing either from President Moldenhauer or the Elders before my surgery. It was cute because Sister Mitchell asked me if I was going to have a blessing before my surgery and I told her of course. She is just so sweet. You’re gonna love her mom.

Well Mom!!! Lauro is baptized!!!! It was such a long process and so much stress!!!! For real! Sister Kinikini and I got the program all ready after Lauro and his wife Madria told us what they wanted. Well our ward mission leader told me that Sister Singleton and I could not speak at the baptism and that we needed to have members do it. I told him okay and that we would try to call people and see if we could find some speakers. This was like Wednesday night this happened. Well all day Thursday, no lie, like we made so many phone calls to see if someone could talk at the baptism and like no one was home at all. So that night I called our ward mission leader and I told him I was sorry but we couldn’t find anybody to come and do the talks. He was not happy and said, “Well that doesn't cut it, you guys should have called me a week ago to help out so you could know this stuff and know that you needed to have members be on the program.” Basically mom I just had had enough, so I blew up at the ward mission leader. I asked him what he wanted me to do. I told him I had no idea what I was doing and that this was my first time organizing a baptism and that we had spent all day calling people and they were either not home or could not come. I told him I did not know what he wanted me to do and that I was sorry but we tried and that we were just going to have to go with the program we had planned. He was quiet and then I just said I was sorry again. Then he asked for the information again of who was talking and stuff and so I gave it to him. Then he said, “Well it doesn't cut it, the Bishop wants members involved to fellowship the new member because you missionary don't stay forever, we members do, and so I will take care of the talks. Don't worry about it anymore.” Then he asked for Lauro's full Spanish name and I told him I didn't have it. He asked me why I didn’t have it and I told him we were on our way home and I would call him when I got it. I told him I needed to call Elder Walker for the information because he was the District Leader and he was the one who interviewed Lauro. He told me to text him as soon as I had the information. Well I got off the phone and I was just so mad and upset. I called Elder Walker and left a message to have him call me back. Well a few minutes later Elder Walker calls me back and I told him I needed Lauro's full name and he told me the ward mission leader already called him and got it and I said, “Go figure.” Then that night Sister Singleton called to confirm stuff with me about the baptism and I had to tell her what had happened and she was sad and very upset that she didn’t get to speak at Lauro's baptism. So by now I was an emotional mess. I just had it up to my elbows with our ward mission leader. Well the next day we called in the afternoon, of course I didn't call, but Sister Kinikini did and she told me that he got it all figure out.

So that night was the baptism. We took pictures and we got Lauro all ready. We did have good speakers which our ward mission leader did well on but it was sad that Lauro didn't know them and it wasn't the program that he and his wife wanted, but Lauro didn't say anything about it. The Spirit was strong. And well, you know that Lauro is 75 years old and so when Brother Ruiz baptized him, he didn't get him all the way under the water because Lauro had a bad knee and he was kinda scared. So poor Lauro had to get baptized like 3 times and the 4th time he was on his knees and leaned forward and it was good! And he was like “yeah!” He was really happy! Then we had a cool lady from the ward talk about the Holy Ghost and she told Lauro not to worry about having to be baptized so many times because she herself had to be baptized three times because of her long hair and I think that made Lauro feel twenty times better. Lauro had brought his wife Madira and then his daughter and the daughter’s daughter and the husband to the baptism so he had a real good turn out! Oh but on Sunday mom, wow, when he got the Holy Ghost, it was a very beautiful blessing that Lauro received. He was blessed that his health would get better and that he would be an example to his family and teach them about the Gospel and that he had a great work to do in the Ward. It was just so amazing! The spirit was so strong and after Sacrament Lauro told us he cried and he said that he never cries. So mom he totally felt the Spirit! Oh and he told this funny story of how when he had knee surgery and was coming out of the anesthesia that the nurse asked if he was diabetic and Lauro said, “No, I am Catholic!” Then he said if he ever has to have surgery again and if that happens he is going to say it proudly, “No, I am a MORMON!!!” How cute is that mom! I just love Lauro and it's been so cool to be able to teach him from the beginning and to watch him progress. I know I missed the first lesson with him but still I have been there and it's so cool. I helped him come closer to God and now he is baptized and has the Holy Ghost and now he has a great work to do! It's just so cool to be a missionary!

Yesterday I bore my Testimony of how much I love the Gospel and how much I love being a missionary and that it isn’t easy but it's so worth all the work that you have to do in the Gospel to learn and to grow and that what is so cool about the Gospel is that you learn and grow every day. With the Restored Gospel you totally change and grow into something the Lord wants you to be! And it was cool because the Elders and Sister Kinikini said that the Spirit was so strong when I got up there and bore my testimony. I was really nervous and just said things from my heart! But I knew the things I said were so true and it's such a blessing for us to have the Priesthood restored back on the earth to help us in our lives to give us direction and to receive revelation and to get blessings! It's so cool! I didn't realize before just how important is was to have the priesthood in my life! That is for sure the #1 thing on my list to look for in a future husband. I want to have the priesthood in my home to bless me and my family! The Gospel is just so amazing!!!

Well mom, you asked if I am still riding bikes now that I have a new companion. Yes we are still riding bikes. We try our best but some days it gets cancelled because we need our car to go somewhere that is far away and there is no way we can ride a bike! So it's been fun riding bikes still but we haven't done it very much with Sister Kinikini as these last few weeks have been so stressful and hard. There were a couple of days were Sister Kinikini was feeling really crummy and so we came in so she could sleep. I know the Lord gave me a Tender Mercy one day and that was the day I received your letter about Roger's funeral with the program and life sketch. It was a blessing that we had come in for Sister Kinikini to nap as it gave me some time alone. It allowed me to read the letter and I was able to cry and to be by myself and to remember all the good times I had with Roger and just have that time to really morn over Roger. I haven't really let go yet, it still hits me every now or then. But it was a wonderful blessing to have almost three hours to myself to cry and to think and to catch up on my journal and to just be by myself because as a missionary you are like never alone. If I had come in that night and got your letter about Roger, I wouldn't have been alone and I would have had poor Sister Kinikini trying to comfort me and trying to help me which I would have been grateful for, but I'm glad I got the time to myself! But mom, don't worry, I'm doing okay with Roger. It's going to be hard still for a bit but it's just a process that I am going through, because, it kinda doesn't seem real that he is gone because I wasn't there for his funeral to really see that he is gone, ya know? But I know that when I get home I do want you and me to go to his grave and to see the pictures of the funeral and to really have that time to say good bye. I think I will see that he is really gone then, but mom I am F.R.O.G! (Fully Relying on God), so no worries! I love you!

Well Mom I got your package and thanks for the skirts, they are the best! I love them and they are just like the brown skirt length wise so they are awesome!!! And mom thanks for the cool address stickers. You are the Bomb!!!! You’re gonna have to do that with every area that I am in. It's gonna make letter writing a lot easier and much faster! And I love the flat fruit bars! I love them!!! Yummy! I would always eat them at Melanie's when she would get them! So I will for sure let ya know when I am getting low on them!

Well I saw Ken this last week and it was good to see my friend and to talk with him. He was very proud of me of how I handled the ward mission leader because he said most people like me would just hunch back and just take it in, but he was like, “You didn't do that!” He said I'm improving so much and he wishes I could see how much I have grown since the first time I met with him. And ya, I can kinda see a little but not a lot I think. I know I am growing so much in the Gospel and doing better on relying on the Lord, but maybe he's right because I have come a long way. And do you know what is sad Mom? There is a Spanish Sister Missionary and she is going home at the end of this transfer because she can't do it because of emotional break downs and she needs medicine to help her so she needs to go home. I came here a transfer before her and look at me … I am still here and not coming home. It's hard to see how sad she is because she wants to be here so bad but she knows she needs the medical help to help her get better. And this made me think of the time I got that letter from Salt Lake telling me that I couldn’t go on my mission for a year and it reminded me of how that made me feel. So it's like all the memories and feelings are coming back and I'm so grateful for all the help the Lord gave me to help prepare me for my mission! Man without all that counseling, I would most likely be coming home too! Wow!

Well Mom I love you and thanks for raising me in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you to dad. I'm so grateful to know the truth and to be a missionary and to be doing the Lords work and becoming more like Him! It's the best thing ever in the whole world right now. Even though I am going through so many struggles as a missionary I know the Lord is just preparing me more for something bigger in my life. Well I love you all and I miss ya tons! And no worries, you will know what is going on by the end of this day! K, well I love you and I need to write President and also Ken today, so I will write ya soon and I'm gonna send pictures of Lauro's baptism so ya'll can see! Well I love ya!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Sister Singleton, Lauro, Sister Hawkins
Friday, April 1, 2011

Sister Kinikini, Sister Hawkins, Lauro, Sister Singleton

Sisters, Lauro, Elder Walker and Elder Hunt

Brother Ruiz and Lauro

Us with Lauro and his wife Madira

First day with my new companion Sister Kinikini
goofing around in a store

Me being cool!

I came upon this while tracting and
just had to take a picture!

Elder Walker's hat and blanket, Elder Hunt's tie,
and their weight ... we were just being silly!

Me and Sister Kinikini at a service project helping
Sister Mitchell with a school thing.  We got these cool shirts!

Me at service project

Do these make me look wise?

Monday, April 4, 2011

An email and a letter

Still waiting to hear about Emily’s surgery date. We think the holdup has to do with her medical insurance. I will post a date just as soon as I hear anything. I am posting two letters from Sister Hawkins this week; the first is the email I received today, April 4th, and below that is a letter we received in the mail this past Friday that she had written last Monday, March 28th, after President Moldenhauer told her about Roger Waters’ passing. Following these two letters is another post entitled “Hump Day Package”. Emily is coming up on her half way mark and we are putting together a “Hump Day Package” to send her and would love for you to participate in this package with us. Be sure and read the “Hump Day Package” post for all the instructions. Thank you again to all of you for your love, support, and prayers on Emily’s behalf.

Email - Monday, April 4, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow I loved your e-mail today telling me I get some things of Rogers that are going to be dear and special to me! I really loved the pictures you sent me of the corner shelf and the microwave table! It's going to be perfect for my future home! I'm gonna love it! Can't wait to hear from your letter of what else I got! It's going to be exciting but I bet it's going to be a teary-eyed letter reading about Roger's funeral! I bet it was lovely and very wonderful to hear about his life and things that he had over come in his life. I wish I could have been there but I know I need to be here on my mission. The Lord wants me here and it's really interesting, I feel like Roger is right beside me sometimes telling me to keep on going. I do feel like he is watching over me. I sure am going to miss Roger a whole bunch! I have been praying for Roger's family to receive comfort and peace that Roger is in a totally better place. I can't wait to come home and be able to meet Marilyn and to talk with her. I think it would be cool if she could come to my homecoming and get to see me so I can give her a big hug!

Well mom things have been so tough for me this week as a missionary! I have been having a lot more pain coming and going and I have been feeling kinda light headed and dizzy in the mornings. I know it's because of my gall bladder not making me feel well but that doesn't stop me from doing the work of the Lord, though it's tough yes, but I am doing it. Well I called the doctor’s office on Thursday to see what's going on and to tell them that I still didn’t have an appointment to see a stomach doctor. They said they would call me back that day but they didn't. I let Sister Moldenhauer know and she told me to call her if they got a hold of me. Well I called the doctor’s again on Friday mid morning telling them I called on Thursday and that they didn't call me back so the nice lady did more explaining and said that they are waiting on dad's insurance saying it's gonna cover it, or something like that. And they said for sure they will be calling me Monday. So then I called Sister Moldenhauer and told her what was going on and she said if they haven't called me on Monday to let her know and that she is going to find a doctor in Kingwood to get this process going. Which I think is good because I hate feeling crummy and in pain off and on during the day and sometimes all of a sudden I feel sick and just feel like crap, man this gall bladder business is no fun! But I know when the time is right I will have my surgery so I'm just relying on the Lord for His help and for His strength to get me through this process.

Something else that has been hard this week is showing Sister Kinikini around. Man it's been such a struggle and most times I just have no idea what to do because sometimes the people aren't home and that's super frustrating and I try to figure out who we need to see and it's just been really hard. It's been so stressful like no other. I feel bad because Sister Kinikini doesn't know what to do for the area because she doesn't know it yet and it's just been so hard and very stressful and I've been so tired lately and I'm so behind on my journal writing that it's sad. I’m doing my best to catch up but it's just been so busy trying to lead the area and to teach Sister Kinikini at the same time. She has been out one transfer longer then me and so she is kinda still new to this stuff too. But mom she has truly been a huge blessing in my life at this time. She gets me and she understands me and she is helping me all the time and just letting me know it's going to be okay and not to worry or stress. She has been a huge example of saying prayers and praying for the little small simple things. She is truly an amazing woman and a great friend. She really reminds me of Kaylee. We are just having so much fun taking lots of pictures and having late talks sometimes, and we always have fun talking about different stuff. She is truly a blessing and I for sure know that she is going to help me out so much when I have that surgery! She is going to be my life saver!

Well now for an update on Lauro. Sister Kinikini and I got done teaching him all the lessons and we are baptizing him this coming Friday and I'm going to be talking at the baptism about the Holy Ghost so I'm gonna be preparing his talk this whole next week. Sister Singleton will be able to come back for his baptism so that is exciting for Lauro, he was excited to hear that. He came to the morning sessions of conference on Saturday and Sunday and he was interviewed by Elder Walker, our District Leader, to make sure he understands the basics of the Gospel. So things are just on a roll with Lauro. He really liked conference and he didn't get tired or anything. He was focused the whole time which was totally awesome! We also had a new investigator come to the Sunday morning session and she liked it but said she didn't understand some of it but that she liked it. She is going to be a little longer to work with because she wants to really make sure she understands a whole lot of things and the Gospel. She wants to really come to church and to check things out which is cool and plus that is what we want all our investigators to do! But we have really no new people to teach so we are just doing a lot of tracting and trying old potentials. So the work has been tough and is slow right now.

But something cool is that Sister Kinikini and I had a talk last night about really organizing the area. We have a really big ward and we have so many less-actives which is sad. So we are going to color code a lot of stuff and really get things organized and try to work with the less-actives to help them come back to church. We are thinking this is what we probably are called here to do this transfer because there aren’t really a lot of people who are interested right now so maybe our work is helping the ward with the less-actives. It's going to be fun during our weekly planning this week … it's going to be long and hard, but it's going to be so worth it getting lots of stuff organized!

Well my Book of Mormon reading is so good and I'm understanding lots of things more and more. I'm in 3 Nephi right know and I can't wait to get to the chapter where Christ visits the people in chapter 11! It's so cool to read a little bit every day and to have that understanding of the Book of Mormon because we are always reading it. It seems like if I miss a day that the storyline gets a little confusing because I really can't remember what had happened so it's been fun learning new things from reading every day. I hope you and dad's reading is going well and that you are just learning and growing so much from reading the Book of Mormon every day. And mom that is really what is going to help us each day is if we read the Book of Mormon and if we don't, we are really not going to be prepared for the second coming! So I hope you and dad keep continue on reading and when I come home I can see your Book of Mormons all marked up and well used! LOL!

Well I really enjoyed General Conference. I still remember when I saw you and dad and Rachel and Jackson last year on TV at General Conference. I was kinda hoping to see ya this year! LOL, but I know you weren't there. I loved all the talks and the words that they spoke. The spirit was strong and it's cool that new temples are going to be built in Canada, Colorado and in Idaho!!!!!!! The work of the Lord is just progressing everywhere and it's just a blessing that the Lord's children are getting found and are being brought back to the fold! The work I am doing is so cool and so worthwhile. I hope you and dad think about doing a mission when your guys are older and retired! It will be such a wonderful experience for you to have in your life and to see the lives that you touch and the people you help to come closer to our Heavenly Father. But it's up to you and dad and it's not up to us kids to force ya to go and do a mission. But think about it okay! It's the best ever!

Hmm.... I'm trying to figure out what else to write ya about this last week. It's just been stressful trying to figure out the doctors and to show Sister Kinikini around so not a whole lot else happening. But oh yeah, last Tuesday was Sister Kinikini's birthday and I found out Monday so guess what I did for her birthday? I went to the dollar store and I bought balloons and streamer stuff and some cool glasses and a picture frame and a brownie mix! Then Monday night I prayed that the Lord would help me wake up early so I could blow up balloons to try to decorate the house. Well the Lord heard my prayer and so I got up and quietly blew up all the balloons, tied string on them, hid them in the closet where we store our bikes, and sneaked back into bed before the alarm went off. We got up, did our morning walk and then we came back. While she was busy showering and getting ready I hung the balloons from the ceiling and then hung some streamers all around the room and on the door. I totally surprised her! Then get this, I made a hole in an apple and put in two candles and then knocked on our bedroom door and sang Happy Birthday to her when she opened the door. She loved it. So she had a pretty good birthday! She got lots of phone calls that day from our mission, everyone singing happy birthday to her. So yeah that was fun and easy!

Well mom it's sad that this letter is short but I don't really have much to say. I am getting a package together to send home because I don't want to be stressing at the end of transfers trying to send stuff home. I was also wondering if I can get more stamps! That would be so awesome! Well mom I love you lots and thanks for being the wonderful supportive mother that you are! I hope you are getting phone calls letting you know what's going on with my stomach but don't worry too much!

I love you mom and I hope you have a great week and just know I am always thinking of you and the family! Things are going to work out for me! Just know the Lord is watching over me and I have an awesome companion who is helping me so much and President and Sister Moldenhauer are just a phone call away to always help me and I have awesome Elders who hold the Priesthood and who are good and dear friends!

Tell everyone Hi!

Love Sister Hawkins

Letter - Monday, March 28, 2011

Hey Mom and Dad,

Well I got the call from President this morning right after I got through e-mailing ya'll. When my new companion told me to call President, I knew that it might be Roger. And it hurt, I'm not going to lie, this is hard to accept. And it's sad to not go to the funeral and to hear of his life and to celebrate the life that Roger had. I do know he is in a better place! I can truly testify to that! Roger isn't in pain anymore, and he can be happy!

I miss the times when me and dad would take him his Sunday dinner and he would just go so crazy over the yummy pumpkin cake that everybody just loves! So mom, please make some for Roger's funeral for the family, in loving memory of Roger! He would just get so excited over the cake! LOL I miss Roger's voice. I really wish I could hear his awesome cool voice Roger had! I miss his personality! I hate it that I'm not there! Today after I heard the news I cried. I did, but I made sure to have fun with my new companion. I didn't want her first day in La Porte to be crummy because of a loss of a loved one! I said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to help me today and He did. It's just hard right now because we're inside and we're not working and I'm thinking of what happened. I'm not crying because I just know where he is! I think if I wasn't on a mission I would be a balling mess and just saying it's not fair! But we go through this life to do our best and become more like our Savior!

Mom, Dad, always use the Atonement in your life, if its a mistake, ask for forgiveness, if it's to carry your sorrows, burdens, or pains, use and apply the Atonement. In John 3:16-17 it tells us God gave his beloved son. Christ died for us. He carried our sorrows, pains and our mistakes that we make. We can come so much closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ if we apply what the Gospel truly teaches us! I'm truly grateful for the gospel and knowing His plan and knowing why we are here ... to become like Him and to go home someday. Wow, I wouldn't have this strong of a testimony of God's Plan or the power of the Atonement or of Priesthood blessings if I had not gone on this mission.

Mom, Dad, this gospel is so true! I testify I know of these things to be true!

Things are going to get better. President called me tonight to see how I was doing but its going to be hard when were in our apartment in the evenings and mornings. He's probably going to be checking on me throughout the next couple of days.

Well the surgery doctor's nurse scheduler hasn't called me yet but if she hasn't called me by Wednesday or Thursday, I'll be making a phone call to figure it out! So Sister Moldenhauer will likely call you at the end of the week! Well just know I love you both so much! And please send a funeral announcement program, or anything if he's in the newspaper. I would love to have it.

But all is well with this missionary! I have my challenges but I have the Lord on my side! Well love ya'll so much and I hope to hear from ya'll soon. You’re the best parents every! Don't forget we got the most amazing thing in the world ... the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! That can get us through anything!

F.R.O.G    Fully Rely On God

Love Sister Hawkins

Hump Day Package

Sister’s Hawkins “Hump Day”

It is hard to believe that on May 11, 2011 Emily will have been out for 9 months and her mission will be half over. In honor of this milestone we are putting a “Hump Day” package together for her. Since Emily will be half way through her mission, we will be sending her a package of “half” things such as half a dozen cookies, half a package of M&M’s, half a box of fruit snacks, half a chocolate bar, etc. But most importantly we would like to include lots of letters from her family and friends. But in order to follow the “Half way” theme, these letters will be sent to her in “halves”. So if you would like to include a letter in Sister Hawkins Hump Day package, here are the directions you will need to follow:

  - Only use one piece of regular lined school paper or one piece of 8 ½ x 11 typing paper

  - You may write, type, or draw on one or both sides of the paper

  - You may use any color ink, markers or crayons you would like

  - Decorating with stickers is also allowed and would be fun (Emily loves stickers and often decorates her envelopes with them)

  - Mail or bring your letter to me by no later than April 30th
        Julie Hawkins
       168 N Emerson
       Shelley, ID 83274

Once I have received all the letters, I will cut them in half vertically (hot dog style) and then mix them all up. Emily will receive a stack of letter halves along with a couple rolls of clear tape. She will have to match all her letters and tape them together in order to read them.

If you do not have time to get a letter in the mail to me, you may email me a letter for Emily and I will print it out for you. I will play with the font style and color to try and add variety to your letter.

Emily had a great time helping me put a “Hump Day” package together for her older brother when he was on his mission and so she is very excited to now receive her very on hump day package.

If you have any questions you can call me at 403-6546 or email me at jhawkins3398@gmail.com

This mission is the hardest thing she has ever done. She knows she would not have made it this far without her Father in Heaven and her family and friends. She cherishes every letter, note, and card she receives. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.