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!

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