Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Miracles and Tender Mercies!

Another awesome missionary letter from Emily.  In the subject line of her email she wrote "Miracles/Tender Mercies!"  That is how she summed up her week.  Enjoy the letter:

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dear Mom,

I just don't know where to start of the wonderful things that my companions and I have been blessed with this last week! We have had so many miracles and it's a blessing to us missionaries of how the Lord has His hands in things!

This last week Sister Black and I had leadership training and Sister Henson went off with other missionaries why we were learning how to become great trainers for Sister Henson! And can I tell you it was such a tender mercy to go to those meetings! I learned so much and I was actually called to repentance. What I mean by that is that I need to shape up on a lot of things that I am slacking on. As a missionary sometimes we get into a groove or habit of how we do things and during this training I realized that I am doing that with some of my missionary work. So I humbled myself and asked the Lord for forgiveness and I'm doing a lot better to be really obedient on a lot of things. Like Mom, you know me, I'm a night owl and can stay up till the wee hours and since I couldn't sleep I would stay up late writing in my journal a lot of times or reading the Ensign or some of my past letters I've gotten. Well I'm doing my best to not do that anymore and I get to bed on time and basically I just lay there until I fall asleep. It takes me a bit but eventually I fall asleep. But that is just one example of what I am trying to do better and there are other things like my studies and just being more prepared.

It was just wonderful to hear from President Moldenhauer and to hear his advice for us missionaries and to also learn from Sister Moldenhauer. I'm really going to miss them a whole lot. They are leaving June 29th!!! Isn't that just crazy! And tomorrow it’s June! Even more crazy I say! But their time has come to an end and they have served the Lord diligently and they have truly been the best “Mission Parents” ever!!!

And another tender mercy and blessing from our training meetings was that we had a wonderful sister from our ward, Sister Gale, drive us back and forth to our meetings both days. As missionaries we are limited to a certain number of miles per month and so Sister Gale helped us out a whole lot to not go over our miles! Sister Gale in return got the blessing of going to the Temple two days in a row! Lucky her! Sister Gale was truly blessed for helping us out by driving my companions and I and even Elder Walker and Elder Hope. I know the Lord is going to pour out blessings to her.

Then a couple days later after the training meetings we were figuring out miles and realized we were going to go over and we still had five days left! Oh boy! So we talked to our awesome District Leader and he encouraged us to use the power of prayer that we learned about from our leadership training and to use this opportunity to teach it to Sister Henson and for us to pray that we will have miracles happen. Well guess what mom? Miracles and tons of blessings poured out upon us Sisters! Like for real! A lot of the ward members helped us out. Like on Saturday a ward missionary helper of ours, Sister Taylor, drove us around all morning and then dropped us off at home. We then walked around our area and we met some really cool people that we are now going to be teaching this week. We then had a member drive us to another member’s house for dinner and then come back and pick us up and take us home. What a wonderful blessing that is. Members from the ward would help us out and drive us places or pick us up for their dinner appointments and it's just been a wonderful thing to experience; to have our prayers be heard from our dear Heavenly Father!!! I'm so grateful for the power of prayer! My Testimony is really strong on prayer right now in my life as a missionary. I’m trying my best to go out and do the Lord's work and to be directed to know what to do! It's truly a blessing! I love prayer! It's the best thing ever to have in our lives to be able to talk with our Heavenly Father. He is our Father and He really wants to hear from us daily so we can be connected with Him!

So with the leadership training and talking as a zone and applying prayer into our zone by praying for each other and even encouraging us to pray out loud, it has totally made a big difference in my life and it's a blessing! I am just so grateful that my prayers are being heard and that I know there is a loving Heavenly Father on the other end that is listening and giving me that comfort that I need and that direction to go and do his work! It's just so wonderful I just don't know how to describe it at all of how much my testimony on the power of prayer has truly grown this last week.

And mom can I say that I have truly changed! I'm going to be a little prideful right now. I have a wonderful companion Sister Henson and I can see a whole lot of me in her but she has to still overcome lots of mountains that she needs to climb. She is like me when I graduated High School. She is kind of at that stage right now in her life where she is scared to try new things and to really be independent. But I have been watching her and it's a wonderful blessing for me right now to see just how much I have changed and its super crazy! I just can't believe it. And then with you seeing Sister Wirtz and Sister Killpack a couple weeks ago in Shelley and them telling you about me and how much I have changed as a person; it's totally true! You and the rest of the family are going to be like “WOW!!!! Where is the nervous, scared girl that we once knew?” Now I'm not saying I'm totally changed yet and I still have lots of mountains to climb right now, but it is so neat to be able to see the difference from how I was in August last year to now in June! It's just a blessing mom. I would not change going on a mission for anything in the world! It's super cool! I can't believe I almost gave up and wanted to go home. I can truly see the blessings taking place in my life now and I know I will continue to see them in the future to come! It's just the coolest thing ever! It's going to be super awesome to see me in eight months and to see what a different person I have become while on my mission.

I want to tell you what happened to me the other day! My companions and I were out tracting and I was looking up at the sky and just thinking about different things. Then the thought came to my head, “Holy Texas! I'm really serving a mission. I'm going out and knocking on doors and who knows who is behind those doors. I'm teaching the Restored Gospel to God's children that are prepared for the Gospel. I'm really doing this wonderful work of the Lord’s and He is for sure helping me every step of the way!” And then I thought back to the MTC when I was walking away from you and dad and I said to those two Elders "Let's Do This!" I then realized that is where I am with Lord right now. I am saying to the Lord, “Let’s Do This!” The Lord and I are working together to help me become what He wants me to become and to find those children of His to help them learn about the Gospel! It was such a neat feeling and I told that to my Companions. I said, “WOW, I'm serving a mission. This is way cool!” I then told Sister Henson that this feeling is going to happen to her one day! And I just can't even describe how I felt at that moment. I really don't want the rest of my mission to fly by; I want it to go slow like the beginning of my mission! Isn't it crazy that in a little over two months I will have been out a year! Wow I just can't believe it! My time is flying by and it's sad of how little time I have left and I still have so much to do for the Lord. It is just truly a blessing for me right now to serve Him! I hope in the future that my kids will want to serve a mission like me! Serving a Mission is awesome! It's the Best EVER!!!!!!!!

So mom things have been good. I have just been busy doing the Lord’s work. It seems like this letter isn’t very long but I don't have much time today since it's not a p-day and we are just allowed a limited time on the computer today. But I want to let you know I'm doing well. I'm hanging in there the best I can and I'm working hard and really staying close to the Lord as much as possible because I really do need Him to do His work. There is no way I could do this without Him. I love you so much. Thanks for being the coolest mom ever and for always sending me awesome letters of encouragement and just sending me so much love. I just am loving doing what I am doing right now and I hope my time doesn't fly by too fast! I hope things are well at home and things are going good. I pray for you and our wonderful family always. And thanks for everything mom I love you!!!

Lots of Love Sister Hawkins!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A week of special experiences!

A wonderful email from Emily today.  If you are wanting to read a great missionary experience then this is the letter for you.  I am so grateful for the amazing experiences that Emily is having and for the growth she is seeing.  Thank your for your continued prayers ... they are being heard and answered.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Mom,

Wow there is so much to tell you in such a little time! Today I don't have much time on the computer cause we had a pretty crazy morning and so basically we just have an hour to do our emailing. Well a whole lot happened this week! Wednesday was so cool because we got to see Elder Gaverette from the Seventy! That was really cool! He had neat things to say to us missionaries to really help us get involved in the work and to do our best to get the members involved as well. It was a neat program and it was all done by the Spirit. President Moldenhauer asked six missionaries to go up and talk about the Doctrine of Christ or a principle from Preach My Gospel. I didn't get picked but Elder Walker did and he used one of my favorite scriptures that I had debated on using for my missionary plague. It's Moroni 7:33 and I loved how Elder Walker applied it to missionary work. He said we need to have faith that we can do all things and that the Lord is going to direct our path and help us out so much. I reflected on that because that is me on my mission right now. I'm using so much faith and doing so much of relying on the Lord and the Lord is really helping me do things that I never thought I could do in my life; I am going out and spreading the gospel and coming out of my shy bubble shell.

Sister Black also got picked and I just love the scripture that she shared and it is one I'm really starting to love so much! It's Helaman 5:12! It talks about the foundation that we need in life so that when the adversary is beating upon us we can be super strong and be able to overcome those trials that are set before us! It was a really neat meeting. And mom, I just loved Sister Moldenhauer's talk on prayer! She said in her talk that she really pondered about what subject to talk to us about because she feels responsible for us and she wants to help us! I really listened closely to her talk and it was so powerful. She told of how we need to pray earnestly and not say our prayers likes it's a list to go through and be done with it! It makes me remember a quote from Preach My Gospel that I would like to share with you! It's from President Gordon B. Hinckley!

"The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries -- we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another."

Isn't that quote so true? I learned so much from this quote; sometimes in prayers we say it and then we just get up and get going on with life and we don't sit or kneel or ponder about what we said in the prayer but just go on with our daily habits and don't listen to what the Lord wants us to here. We really need to take the time in our prayers to really talk to our Heavenly Father because He is the one who created us and He is the one who is always there with open arms to help us and He sent his Beloved Son to atone for our sins. Heavenly Father wants us to talk to Him and He wants to respond to us, but how can He if we get up really quickly after our prayer! It's a really cool thing that I have been learning about lately.

So back to Sister Moldenhauers talk (I kinda went off on that.) Her talk really touched my heart and I needed to hear the stories she shared about prayer and how we need to be more earnest in our prayers as missionaries because all we have is Him to help us to find His children. She didn't share the quote that I shared with you; I thought of that quote. After her talk I was so touched by the Spirit and it was truly an answer to my prayers of how I can really, really be closer to my Heavenly Father and get through the struggles I am going through as a missionary. I just need to have those heartfelt prayers. Sister Moldenhauer was looking right at me after her talk (well for one thing I was in the front so I couldn't hide me crying like a baby), but she came and gave me a really BIG HUG!!! She whispered in my ear, “It's gonna be okay, you can do this” and she said, “I love you so much!!!” That was so dear and tender to me! I love President and Sister Moldenhauer so much and I'm gonna miss them so much! I don't know how I'm gonna make it. But from her powerful talk on prayer, the most powerful one I've ever heard in a while, I know I can make it through the changes that are coming! : ) Prayer is powerful; never doubt that your prayers aren’t being heard!

Another neat experience this week … the girls and I went tracking and on Tuesday we met this boy on the street and he pointed out where he lived so we wouldn't knock on his door. Well us, not really paying much attention, knocked on the door and he answered. Sister Black asked to talk to his mom. Well the mom came to the door but said she had a bad migraine and asked if we could come back later. We said sure. So on Saturday a lot of the things that we had planned weren't working out and Sister Black suggested we go see that lady. I suggested we first try a less active and then we will see about visiting her. Well we tried the less active and she wasn't home. I too then had the feeling that we needed to go back and see the lady so I told the girls, “Let’s go!” So we drove over to her home and knocked on the door. She answered the door but she did not look good at all; she looked tired and upset and there were just a lot of things that weren't going well in her life! She said, “I have a question to ask you guys”, and she asked if we are a church that is of man or of God; something along those terms. We told her we were not a man made church and that we have direction from God through Prophets. Her face lit up a bit and she just started to asked more questions and then just broke down and told us of how unhappy she was and how she feels judged in the home and that her family isn’t doing well. For real mom, the Spirit really took over for those 45 minutes that we were there. I just opened my mouth and I told her we had come to share a wonderful message about Jesus Christ and of how the Gospel has been restored upon the earth and that it is for families. I said some other things and the same with Sister Black; she said wonderful things and she and I went back and forth. Sister Henson was there and I know she felt the Spirit too. She didn't say much but that is okay, her time will come when she has learned and studied lots like Sister Black and me and she is going to have these experiences of opening up her mouth and she is gonna be amazed of what is coming out of her mouth! And mom I got to recite Joseph Smith's First Vision and I could tell by the look in the lady’s eyes that she was really listening and the Spirit was so strong. I just had tears rolling down my cheeks as I recited the First Vision and I just took my time saying it. Afterwards I testified that God does hear and answers prayers and that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ! It was so awesome! Then she gave me the biggest hug ever!! She just hugged me so tight and long and I was prompted that things are gonna be okay and not to worry. She was just so happy to hear these truths that we were teaching and testifying about. We then gave her a Book of Mormon and told her where it came from and we shared some things from the Book of Mormon and of Moroni's promise in Moroni 10:3-5. She loved those verses and she cried when she read them. And at the beginning she had asked us how we baptize in the church; then at the end we committed her to baptism and she said yes! And we told her the adversary is gonna work hard on her because he doesn't want her to be happy and he doesn't want this for her. I testified to her to have faith and to really rely on the Lord right now and that things are gonna work out but she needs to do her part and rely on Him. She said she was gonna come to church. It was just a wonderful experience we had with her on Saturday.

After our awesome lesson where the Spirit was totally teaching the whole time we called President Moldenhauer and we told him everything. I loved what he said; he told us to be BOLD and to let them know why we are really here and to TEACH and to TESTIFY and to have us remember for ourselves our purpose!

Well the next day came and the sad news was she didn't make it to church but she still has time to come to church and we are for sure gonna see her soon this week! But that teaching experience was so amazing and the things that I said, it was like a shocker for that to happen! I just couldn't believe the experience that I had of really teaching with power and to have the Spirit to really help me out in that lesson! It was just so wonderful! I just loved it! It makes me so happy to have these experiences and to really have my testimony grow stronger everyday from going out and teaching testifying about the truths that are upon this earth and of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ has really been restored! It's so wonderful and it's so awesome that I'm becoming converted more and more in the Gospel and how I'm for sure never gonna leave the church ever!

Well I'm glad the family had a good time for Dad's birthday! I hope he did fun stuff! Well I got through all the 45 letters and pictures from my Hump Day Package! I love them all! They were so encouraging and so powerful from so many of my dear loved ones and dearest closet family friends! Thank you for the wonderful support and the love and all the wonderful prayers! I know the Lord is hearing them because I can for sure tell you that He is helping me every day! :)

Well mom I got to go but I love you and I hope you have a great week! And that is super cool you got to see Sister Killpack and Sister Wirtz. I miss those girls lots! They are truly special spirits! Every missionary I come in contact with are very special and dear to me and have helped me in a way that I can't explain! Well can't wait to hear from ya! I love you and you’re the Best Mom!!!!

Love Your Favorite Missionary!
Sister Hawkins!

I think she is becoming a Texan!  What do you think?

Sister Black and Sister Hawkins pretending to be non-members
so Sister Hendson could practice her "door approach".

Sister Black doing my hair!

Sister Black, Elder Walker, Sister Hawkins

Sister Henson, Sister Hawkins, Sister Black --- The Awesome Trio!

Another visit to the boxing gym

I think Sister Henson is getting the hang of it!

I love you Mom!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Emily had a wonderful Hump Day thanks to so many wonderful letters from many of you.  Being in a trio is a new challenge for her but one she is determined to do her best at.  Enjoy this weeks email and pictures!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow what a week for me! It's been super crazy just trying to figure out things and leading the area of La Porte again! But it's been an interesting road. Well we had a wonderful blessing on Wednesday of having a member drive us to go pick up our new companion to help us save on miles which is super important. As missionaries we are limited to a certain number of miles, which is a good thing because we get to use members to help take us places and they receive blessings by having the wonderful experience of going out with us to do missionary work. I know when I get back home I'm gonna let the missionaries know if they ever need me they can totally call me and I will for sure go work with them. It's so important to have members there at the investigators home because missionaries come and go and members stay behind and need to be able to fellowship the investigators! And so it's neat to work with members. It's hard sometimes because of the work schedule but it's totally worth it if you take time to go work with the missionaries!

Well my new companion is Sister Henson and she is from Lake View, Oregon! She is very nice, super shy and doesn't talk much! But she has a strong will to go out and do her best! Mom this last week I've been watching Sister Henson and she totally reminds me of when I came out on a mission and of how quiet I was and how I didn't talk much to people and how hard it was to go tracting! It's super crazy to see how far I have come in the last nine months!!!!! Just Super Crazy!!! I have totally changed. I can go knocking on doors now and I can teach in lessons but I am still trying to get better at that and I'm still learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's been a blessing to see Sister Henson and to see that I was like her when I came on my mission. But she is more of a quiet girl and doesn't talk much and likes to keep things to herself. Sister Black and I are trying to do our best to make her feel welcomed and loved and to help her to come out of her shell. It's like me; it took me almost half my mission to be myself and to tell ya the truth … it wasn't fun to be a different person and not the fun Emily Hawkins that everyone knows back home. So Sister Black and I are thinking of ways to help Sister Henson feel comfortable and loved!!

Well being in a trio is real different. It's hard when we are teaching in lessons or when we are out knocking on doors because there are three of us. We have a hard time transitioning and knowing how to take turns. It is basically Sister Black and I and we ask Sister Henson questions to get her involved. There are some days where it might be overwhelming for some people because there are three of us and that we are trying to talk all at once. So it's interesting.

I for sure am missing my dearest friend Sister Kinikini! She and I just clicked so well and got along great and we just worked well together and I could talk to her whenever I needed her. It is sad because I'm trying really hard to click with the two girls but it's super hard. I'm trying to have fun and love them but it isn’t easy … they are just different people. Don’t get me wrong, they are totally cool but it's sad that I'm not clicking like I have with my other companions. I'm praying for some help and I got an e-mail from President just telling me to love them and serve them. That is for sure what I am going to be doing! : ) All I can do is F.R.O.G (fully rely on God) and do my very best and serve and the Lord is gonna provide for the rest!

Well I must say it is super fun to have a companion that knows how to do hair. She has done my hair a couple of times and done a super cool French braid! She trimmed my hair today because it needed a trim and plus we have Elder Gavarette from the Quorum of the Seventy coming to talk to our mission Wednesday! President Moldenhauer told us to look all nice and cleaned up and to even clean our apartments because he might want to go see our apartments. So today we cleaned our place up and got ready and it looks super nice! It's nice to have a clean home! President also told us to be prepared because Elder Gavarette might want to do interviews with some of us. That would be so cool if Elder Gavarette wanted to talk to me but I hardly doubt it because there are like 130 missionaries and I know that there are some other missionaries that need that moment with him to talk to him … but ya never know!

I totally love my HUMP DAY Package!!! It's super cute. I love all the letters! It's super crazy the letters that you collected and I've only read a few of them. It's gonna take me the rest of my mission to finish all the letters you sent me! I love the camel! It's on my dresser and it's just super cute! I love it and I love all the stuff that was “half” like the candy and the fruit snacks! It's just the bomb! I love the lotion the Dye's gave me! Hmm smells super yummy! I think it was cute that the Christensens did the starburst notes and that was super nice what Aunt Sarah and her family did! I really appreciate it! That package meant a whole lot to me and I know when I get through reading all the letters it's gonna be super good! I'm just gonna love it! It’s gonna be interesting what happens the next nine months Eh!!!!

This last Sunday was super neat! We had President and Sister Moldenhauer come talk to our ward about Missionary Work! It was super strong and powerful! I love hearing from them both and I'm gonna really miss them so much! It's gonna be truly sad when they leave and it's gonna be hard. But it was cool to hear about some of their experiences from their mission and how they are truly converted to The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-Day Saints! Their talks tried to inspire the members to do missionary work and encouraged them to come out with us and to drive us around and to have the wonderful experiences with us missionaries and to see the blessings of missionary work. Due to the Moldenhauers busy schedule, they moved our meetings around yesterday and had Priesthood and Relief Society second and Sunday School last so the Moldenhauers could continue to teach us all about missionary work. They did some role playing and showed a very cool video clip. They taught that you don't need to wear a tag to be a missionary. You can be a missionary by just inviting your friends to an activity or to church or by telling them about Mormon.org. There are just lots of different ways to tell people about the church. Luckily I'm a missionary already so I don't have to make time to do missionary work right now but it made me more committed for when I go home to be more open to my friends who aren't members and to invite them to stuff and to give out mormon.org cards. I also want to work with the missionaries and to feed the missionaries and to continue to help the work move along! It was a super cool meeting yesterday! Loved it!

I got to talk to Sister Moldenhauer a bit and I told her that I am still having pain where my gall bladder was and that the doctor told me to rest when I am hurting but that I totally feel so guilty and feel like I am wasting time if I rest. I told her I feel bad that I have two Sisters now and that they will be board if I lay around and rest for like an hour for a couple times in the day. She told me that since I'm in a trio now that it's okay for me to go to a members home and rest for an hour and have the Sisters go out and work for a bit. She told me to rest more to get me feeling better and to report back to here. So I'm gonna try to rest more because she said to and I don’t want to make it worse! I didn't really rest this last week because we were go, go, go, go! But the good news is mom that my stomach incision isn't leaking any more and it is healing up nicely! But the eating stuff is a killer though! I found out that Granola bars aren't easy for my stomach; it made my stomach turn and hurt and just not feel good! It's not the stuff you send me but some members gave us granola bars and I ate one and it just was painful and just not fun! I don't like it when food doesn't do well with my stomach because then I don't feel good for like two to three hours, it's just crummy! People who have had their gallbladder out told me it takes about a year to have your stomach be normal again. So when I come home I will still have problems with some foods and you will get to see how I feel! LOL! Joyous fun! : )

Oh mom I want to tell you about a really cool pill that I have been taking that Sister Mitchell gave me and she told me that it will help me heal better and feel twenty times better! It's called "Juice Plus" - one pill is Vegetable and another is Fruit. I take two of the fruit in the morning and two of the vegetable at night and I have seen an awesome difference. The pills are healthy and they give you all the fruits and vegetables that you need in a day! It's super cool! And I am telling ya about them to see if you can order me some and get more for me. She gave me two more bottles so I will be good for a while longer but I want you to google it! It's so awesome. Sister Mitchell used to sell them but she doesn't anymore. She is never sick and she just feels so good! It's super cool and I love it! People have been telling me that I'm just looking so good and I can tell cause I have that energy from all the pills! So mom, check it out and see if you can order me some please and let me know your thought about it eh?

Well mom it's been a crazy week just getting use to stuff but I want to send ya some pictures that I have taken this last week. But I want to let you know I love you and I miss ya lots. Thanks for the awesome package! I love them all! You’re the Best! Tell everyone hi and thanks for all the love and the prayers and the wonderful support everyone is to me! Well the Gospel is totally true! It's the BEST EVER!!!!!

Love Sister Hawkins

Sister Hawkins, Sister Henson and Sister Black
(Just after picking up Sister Henson from the Mission Home)

First night with the air mattress -- we now have a third bed!

Just received the latest Ensign -- love it!!!

Just hanging out waiting for the Elders!

Elder Walker and his new companion Elder Hope

Hanging out with the birthday girl (one next to Sister Hawkins)
in an Elmo bouncy!

Elmo bouncy -- these are pretty popular in Texas!

Cooking dinner for the Sisters and Elders -- Chicken Alfredo!
(Loves her apron made by her friend Stephanie!)

Notice the fancy hairdo thanks to Sister Black


Monday, May 9, 2011

It was so great to talk to Emily yesterday … it truly made it a wonderful Mother’s day. For the most part she was really upbeat. She is a little discouraged about her back and incision still hurting but the doctor told her she just needed to slow down a bit and give them both some time to heal. She knew when we talked that Sister Kinikini was being transferred but had no idea who her new companion would be. Her biggest fear was that she would be made a trainer … guess what happened … read on!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hey Mom,

Oh my goodness!!!!! You're not going to believe this! It's been a huge test for me these past 24 hours … why??!!! I am getting a new companion, and then she and I are ………TRAINING!!!!! NO JIVING!!!!!! For real mom, I am in a trio!!! Pretty wild!

So last night when I got the call from President Moldenhauer I was like, “What!! For real!” And he said, “Don't worry Sister Hawkins, you know the area and you’re going to do great and be okay.” My heart just totally sunk and I was like crap. So much was going through my mind like who knows what my new companion is gonna be like and I have to lead the area again and plus train a new sister from the MTC!!! And just trying to deal with two companions now and not just one!!!! So last night I was pretty upset and worried and scared and just really wanted to give up! I really did. I just kept saying, “I can't do this! I just can't do this!”

We were at Crystal’s house when we got the call and I was upset and just so worried and saying, “Holy Texas! What more can I handle with everything that has been going on.” Crystal was sweet, telling me it's gonna be okay. She said, “You wanted to go on a mission and you can totally do this Sister Hawkins. It's gonna be fun for ya.” I must admit I was just worried so much of how it's gonna work with three sisters now in La Porte instead of two. And I'm like, “Oh boy here it comes more trials!!!!!”

Poor Sister Kinikini is training too but also is “flushing” an area which means that Elders are coming out of the area and now Sisters are going into the area. So she has lots of stress too!!!! So last night she and I were talking and I was crying and she was crying and then she said, “Well Sister Hawkins, the Lord really must trust us if we are both training and one of us is being in a trio and the other one is flushing an area!!! And I was like, “That’s true.” I said, “The Lord knows what we can handle,” and then I said, “I just don't want to go through anymore hard stuff.” So last night was pretty tough!! And it was hard because I just wanted to call you so bad to tell you what is going on and to just get some “mom advice.”

So this morning we got up early and had to be at our church at 7:30 a.m. We first went to the Elders apartment and got Elder Hunt all packed. Apparently I misunderstood Elder Walker last night when he called with what we were doing today because we brought Sister Kinikini's stuff with us but apparently we were not supposed to because she was to stay with me and my new companion until Wednesday when her new companion would arrive. So we had to take all of Sister Kinikini’s stuff up to the Elders apartment and boy did I feel stupid for misunderstanding. But after all that we went and got a smoothie before heading to the church … pretty yummy stuff. We got to the church and the transfer van came and Elder Hunt left! While we were at the church Sister Kinikini talked to a Sister Wallace who had been her trainer and she found out Sister Wallace would be training again and that she is in a trio right now until her companion comes on Wednesday. So Sister Kinikini talk to the AP's and so now she is going to be able to go spend time with Sister Wallace until they both get there new companions on Wednesday. So Elder Walker, Sister Kinikini and I headed back to the Elders apartment to get her stuff. We also got us some kolaches (pastry) and then chilled at the church shooting hoops and just talking and having a good time waiting for my new companion and for Elder Walker’s companion!

So at about12:30 p.m. here comes the transfer van. Elder Walker got Elder Hope who is from Rexburg, Idaho and I got Sister Black who is from Pleasant Grove, Utah! And what is funny is that Sister Brosnahan trained Sister Black and Sister Black is following my footsteps because she is coming from Jennings, Louisiana. And what is even more funny is that Elder Hunt is going to be “flushing” his new area with Elders now, and Sister Kinikini is “flushing” the area of Sulphur, Louisiana, so Elder Hunt and Sister Kinikini are still gonna see each other which is pretty cool. (That part confused me but that is what Emily wrote!)

So Sister Black came on her mission in January so she is pretty new and we are gonna train together!! Pretty crazy stuff mom! And also she went to school to be a hairdresser and she brought her hair stuff, so who knows if I'm gonna get my hair all done differently or colored or something fun ya know. But we will see, we still got to keep things simple. She does a good job on haircuts! She cut the Elders hair in her last District and Elder Walker is excited to have a Sister who can cut his hair and she even cut Elder Hope's hair too! Sister Black and Elder Hope know each other already because they come from the same district! So it's all pretty funny!

So my goodness mom … my world as a missionary has really been turned around so much! It's been super crazy with everything that has been going on. It's gonna be so interesting what's gonna happen with me leading the area again and training and being in a trio. I am just really relying on the Lord right now. My mind is just going in circles from all the things that have been going on. It's hard to take everything in. For real. And I really truly miss Sister Kinikini. Sister Black seems fun and bubbly and she laughs a lot. I remember that because at “Sister Day”, she sat behind Sister Kinikini and I and she and Sister Brosnahan were just laughing and having fun. But it's really different because when Sister Kinikini and I got together, we just clicked and we talked a lot and we became close like on the very first day that we met. With Sister Black it's nothing like what Sister Kinikini and I have. It's going to be hard to connect with her and also to a new sister at the same time. So I'm just really stressing right now and really trying to be upbeat about everything. Like this morning on the way to the Elders apartment I told Sister Kinikini I had my time to be mad and upset and cry and wonder why me and why this and just being really hard on myself and not believing in myself at all. And I told Sister Kinikini this morning that I am really going to try to be myself and try to have fun and be the Sister Emily Hawkins that everyone knows and loves back home and just try to have fun and have a fun transfer. Hard to believe I said that this morning but I was like I need to do this and not be this shy girl anymore and be scared of things! I really need to give up my fears to the Lord and my worries and anxieties. It's truly hard to do that and I've been just hiding myself and not showing people the fun person that I can be. And I could only do that with Sister Kinikini and I just don't want to lose it but I feel I'm going backwards and not forwards today. And it's even harder because poor Sister Black was crying because Sister Brosnahan her trainer (aka mission mom) is gone now and she isn’t gonna see her. I know that was hard for me when Sister Smith left. I felt totally alone and just truly scared and I bet Sister Black is totally feeling like that right now. But I did get to see Sister Brosnahan one last time and said goodbye to her and she said that I'm gonna have fun with Sister Black and that she knows all about me. She told Sister Black I'm a hard worker and that she’s gonna learn lots from me. Unfortunately that even made me feel more pressure because right now I'm not a hard worker because I am still trying to recover and heal and can't work much and I can't do much and it's just so much pressure right now!! Sorry mom, I'm kinda venting in this letter just to let ya know all my feelings and thoughts. But to let you know on a brighter note, I'm excited in a way. A new Journey like Sister Kinikini told me and more new things for me to grow from. I know it's gonna be tough but the Lord is gonna be on my side and I know that everything is gonna work out. I don't know how things are gonna work or what is in store for Sister Black and I but I do know the Lord has a plan and things are gonna be okay! Everything is gonna be okay!

Well mom it was just such a huge blessing to be able to just talk to you and dad yesterday.  Mom, did you notice I didn't cry at the beginning? Pretty much SHOCK! Uh!!! LOL, I couldn't believe that I didn't cry and that you and I just started talking yesterday! I thought that was pretty cool! It was just so great talking to you. After Elder Hunt, Sister Kinikini, and I all made our calls home we got to go outside at the Edward's house and roast marshmallows; fun, fun!

Well, President and Sister Moldenhauer have only like six weeks left!!! Pretty crazy uh! I can't believe I will be getting new Mission Parents soon! But what is super cool is that the last 60 days of their mission we are doing a Preach My Gospel reading/study thing! So I'm super excited of how it's gonna be cool that I am going to be able to have that learning study habit of Preach My Gospel and to really learn the lessons and to come closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! It's gonna be really cool! I've started some studying but the last three days I haven't been able to study because of transfers so tomorrow I can truly start up my studies again which I'm super excited about! I can’t wait to grow more spiritual and gain more knowledge the next 60 days by doing what President and Sister Moldenhauer wants us to do! It's super cool!

Well mom there is not a whole lot to write about because I got to talk to you yesterday! I just wanted to let you know of some things that have happen in the last twenty-four hours since we talked. I bet my letter next week is going to be super, super, super long with all the things about my new companions and being in a trio! It's just gonna be a wild roller coaster ride. Well mom I love you and miss you tons and it was so good to hear your voice yesterday! I love you tons and I will send ya some pictures that I have taken recently of Sister Kinikini, Elder Walker and myself in our Sun Glasses waiting for the Transfer van; it's pretty funny!

Well love ya and thanks for sending me more shoes and for my cool hump day package that is coming. I can't wait; it's gonna be super sweet!!!!!

Love Sister Hawkins

Roasting marshmallows after talking to our Moms!

Being cool and waiting for the transfer van!

I love Sister Kinikini!

Final picture with Sister Brosnahan

Sister Black and Sister Hawkins
Another chapter begins!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Still hurting but hopefully on the mend!

Thankfully a less eventful week to report on but she is still having some issues from her accident and surgery.  Hopefully some medicine and a little more time to heal will help her out.  Thank you to those that contributed hump day letters, they will mean so much to her.  Due to transfers coming up this weekend, I will not be mailing her package until after I hear from her on Sunday so if you still have a letter you want to add to her package, there is still time.  Enjoy this weeks letter and pictures.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow in one week I get to call you … yeah! I'm so excited to hear your voice. I have no idea what time we are going to be making our phone calls. We were going to be calling at the Prigmores but they are not gonna be home. Then we thought of the Mitchells but they are going to see their family. So sometime on Sunday I will be calling but I just don't know where or what time but you will know when I call! LOL. So make sure the cell phone is all charged up for Sunday!! But I know I will be calling more than likely in the evening! Just so you know and mom please be home this time okay. LOL, just teasing ya!

Well mom this week sure has been a struggle for me to do the work and to deal with my back. Some days my back doesn't hurt me much and then some days it just spasms and it hurts. It hurts when I am sitting down for a long time. Even in church yesterday it was hard to get through the day! And my incision on my stomach … well let’s just say I'm gonna be climbing another mountain. The car accident made the incision by my belly button irritated and when I saw the doctor last Monday, he said to get alcohol swipes and wipe it at least twice a day. Well we didn't have a car so I couldn’t get any so now I'm in pain when I'm sitting down and a light green or ivory color puss comes out and there is a rash around it. So I was talking to Sister Mitchell, the R.S. President, about it because she is really worried about me and always wondering how I am doing. I told her about it and she gave me alcohol swipes and I've been wiping it a lot and it's just not doing well. So I called Sister Moldenhauer and she said to call the doctor's today and I might have to be on medicine again. Sister Mitchell says if the medicine doesn't work, and it depends on the infection, they could have to go in and clean it because there is like a little hole I can see in and it's getting bigger. It's just not doing well and I'm scared and just wondering why all this is happening to me but I have to learn some things, right?

Well guess what mom? I finished The Book of Mormon again!!!! I finished on Saturday morning and I was so excited! I can’t believe that I have finished reading the Book of Mormon twice on my mission! I started reading it again on Sunday and it's cool to restart the Book of Mormon. And mom if I keep this up I will be able to read the Book of Mormon four times on my mission. Plus before my mission I read it and so I will have read the Book of Mormon like five times in two years! Pretty crazy uh! I'm not bragging about how many times I will read it, but it's just so cool and neat to see how much I have grown and to understand the things the Book of Mormon is teaching me every time I read it! This time as I read the Book of Mormon, I'm gonna be highlighting stuff about coming unto Christ, repenting and becoming a like a little child to humble myself. I also really want to understand more of the Atonement! So it's going to be really interesting reading for the next three to four months. President Moldenhauer figured out a really cool reading chart to read the Book of Mormon three times a year so I am on my second time for this year! Pretty crazy but very exciting! So mom, how has your reading been going? And has dad been reading too from the Books of Mormon that he got at the beginning of my mission? I bet you two have lots of highlighted stuff that I can't wait to see when I get home to see all the cool things that ya'll have learned over the last year and a half!

Oh guess what else has been going on? We had “Sisters Day” which means all the Sisters got to get together and hear from President and Sister Moldenhauer and also the Assistants to the Mission President. It was neat in a way because the first two hours President Moldenhauer and even Sister Moldenhauer talked about marriage and dating and when we go home that we need not to be shy and hide in a corner but go to activities and go have fun at the singles branch. We were told to even say hi to guys so they know about you so they can call you up and ask ya on dates. What was going through my mind during this was that I really don't have to worry about that yet because I have nine months left to go but I did take notes because all the things they said are important and maybe it's for my good to apply to my life when I get home! So “Sisters Day” was fun and we got to hear seven Sisters’ testimonies that are leaving in a week to head back home and one of them is Sister Brosnahan. And it's crazy because her parents go on a mission soon after she goes home so she is gonna see her parents for a few weeks and then they are off on their mission. Oh by the way, Elder Walker just walked past me in the library and he said to say "Hi" LOL, silly Elder! Well I'm gonna miss Sister Brosnahan and her cool and different personality! It's gonna be weird. I know that she and I had a hard time sometimes but I do love her lots. I really learn different things from each companion and I miss them tons!

I got a letter from Sister Smith and she is doing great. She is busy working and going on lots of dates! She said that her family still reads my blog to see how I am doing and she hopes everything works out with my gall bladder. I thought that was really cool how they are still reading my blog! I really like having this blog thing for my mission so that all my family and friends know about me and know how I am doing and are not having to always e-mail or call ya to see how I am doing; they just get on the computer! It's pretty cool.

I had an interview with President Moldenhauer and it went very well. He just loves how far I have come and the mountains I have climbed and he said that he really wants to be there when I get off the plane and to go to my homecoming. I hope that they can make it! It will be really super cool if they do! The Moldenhauers will be speaking in their ward the first Sunday after they get home. I told Sister Moldenhauer about your pumpkin cake and that you and dad would love to come listen to them speak and that you will most definitely make some pumpkin cake! I told her it was the super best! LOL! Sister Moldenhauer says she is gonna let all of us know what day they are going home and when their homecoming talk will be so I will for sure let you know mom! Hopefully you and dad can go and meet them and say Hi!

Well it's time to write President and to try to write a couple other e-mails. But mom I love you and miss ya tons and I hope to hear from ya soon. I hope things are going well and I loved the pictures of Zaebyn. He is growing so much. I also loved the snow picture you took last week. Pretty crazy! It reminds me of Texas weather; you just can't tell what the weather is gonna be like from one day to the next! Pretty crazy.

Well gotta run. Love ya!

Love Sister Hawkins!

"Sisters Day"
Sister Lundgren and Sister Hawkins

Sister Hawkins and Sister Brosnahan
Sister Hawkins and Sister Singleton

A special family that lives by us!

Being silly ... time for bed!