Well can I just say that I have been truly relying on the Lord this week and it's been tough. I told President Moldenhauer in my letter to him last week of how I'm kinda doubting myself and wondering if I am really the best trainer for Sister Henson. He sent his last message to me and told me to trust in the Lord and not myself and that the Lord will direct me in this path that I'm going to be going through for the next while. He then said, “God be with you till we meet again!” So I know I'm going to see them after my mission. It is sad that their time is over in three days! I can't believe they have served the Lord for three years. Just think, my time too is going quickly so I will soon feel what they are feeling now. But I still have lots of time right! LOL.
So my first week has been a struggle because I don't have Sister Black anymore to help me and it's been tough in lessons, but I know it's a work in process. I remember the tough time I had when I first came out and that I had to really trust in the Lord to help me to be able to teach. I know over time Sister Henson will be able to do this. I don't know how this transfer is going to play out or what trials or struggles we are going to have, but in the end we are going to learn from it and have us each become a better person in the end. It's been weird just having me and Sister Henson around because I really haven't had anyone to really open up to or to have a really good heart to heart talk. In the beginning I really talked mostly to Sister Black and we would work together on how we could help Sister Henson be strong and to not doubt herself. And since Sister Black has left, it's been super quiet in the house, like we hardly ever talk really unless I'm preparing her for a lesson or helping her feel better. By the end of the week though we have been talking a little bit more which is good, so it's a work in process. I have no idea how long I'm going to be serving with her; there’s a very good chance that we could have another transfer together, but you never know when my time is up in La Porte, Texas. It was funny seeing everyone this week because they thought that I was leaving so that was funny, but it was exciting to still be able to work with the investigators that we have here! I'm excited to work hard this transfer and really get into the work in this area. There is a lot of the Lord's work and I know he is going to help Sister Henson and I work together to find our dear brothers and sisters who are searching for the gospel!
Well Mom, I loved all the pictures that you sent me. I can't believe Zaebyn is walking; I didn't even know that he has been crawling. He is so big and grown up now! He totally looks like Wade in some of his baby pictures. I just hope when I come home that I can spend time with Zaebyn so he can get to know me and not be scared of his Aunt Lou! And with Kadie and Ella, that is super crazy! Just like you said, they really looked alike in that one picture you sent me. If you hadn’t told me who was who, I would not have known. They are getting so big! It's going to be so exciting to see them when I come home because they are so big and I bet they are lots of fun and plus they know me and I know they will give me BIG HUGS when I come home! And with Rylee, oh my goodness, she is getting big too! It's crazy how much kids change and grow up! I can't believe I am an Aunt and my nieces and nephew are just growing up so much. Heck when Rachel and Jackson start having kids, their kids are going to be big too! I just hope I'm not too far off from having kids so that I can have kids with my siblings; I don't want my kids to not have any cousins their age. But hey, we will see what happens when I get home. But I was just so shocked how much everyone has grown up. I bet home and Shelley has changed too! That is just super crazy! Coming home in 8 months will be very interesting, I can tell ya that!
Oh, I wanted to tell you before I forget! So you know Sister Mitchell from the ward here in La Porte, well she is having surgery tomorrow! I won’t go into details about the surgery for the blog but I can tell she is nervous and very scared, so please keep her in your prayers tomorrow! It's going to happen sometime tomorrow morning. Her husband is going to text us and let us know how the surgery went and keep us informed! It's so neat all the support she is receiving from the ward and from her family and friends. They are all praying and fasting for her! So I wanted to let you know so you and anyone else who reads my blog can pray for her as well. I really care for the Mitchell family! They have become part of my life forever and they have been nothing but kind, loving and full of lots of support and love! So please pray for her. I know when I went in for my surgery it was awesome to feel so much comfort and peace even though I was scared but I knew my loved ones and dear family and friends were praying for me, so I would hope she too can feel that peace tomorrow!
So mom, in Relief Society yesterday I saw a church magazine and it had two cool new cd's. One was "The Essential Missionary Collection, Hymns that Uplift and Inspire" and I don't know if that has the church seal or if it's by the Mormon Tabernacle. I want you to check it out for me and also "This Is The Christ". Just see if I could have those cd's. It would be fun to listen to new stuff because the same old music sure gets kind of boring.
So this last week in La Porte has been good. We are trying to find a teaching pool still; we have some days where we think we can teach a certain person that we come in contact with but when we try and try well, they say no thanks or we just never come in contact with them again, so that is hard sometimes. But it's been fun to see the members and a lot of the less actives in this ward. I really think this transfer that we might be getting into some homes that haven't been to church in a while and that is going to be awesome to help them come back to church. I have never really understood the importance of coming to church until I got on my mission. I knew that it was a commandment and that we need to partake of the sacrament, but now I have learned so much about how much church truly helps you for that next week! It refills your spiritual cup that helps you to get through the week ahead! I love going to church! It's so powerful with all the talks and the lessons that you hear and that you learn from!
Do you know what was cool this last Sunday … I was asked to teach Sunday School for the investigators class. The lesson was on Baptism! And oh boy, I learned so much about baptism and how it's important. I knew it was important, but it's like you learn so much more when you study something and your testimony grows so much. I think it was neat to learn more about baptism because who knows when I need to talk to someone about baptism or help prepare them for that special day of baptism. So it was good; I think I could have done better in my lesson but people thought it was good. I had the class involved and I asked questions and had people read stuff, so that was really cool. It was so funny, I was late to class because I was talking to our new member Lauro and when I got to the room I was my happy bubbly self and said, “Okay class, thanks for all who are here. Let’s get our scriptures and our Gospel Principle Book and let’s have a prayer and we will get class started.” It was just a really cool feeling! I was really proud of myself for accomplishing a goal and to not really be so worried and nervous! It was also awesome because I had Sister Gale, who has become a really close dear friend to me in this ward, in my class! Her name is Jerri Gale and she is the BEST!!! She is always willing to drive us to places when she isn't working and she loves to hang out with us. Well Sister Henson told her that I was teaching so Sister Gale came in to give me support. I asked her how she thought the lesson went and she said it was awesome and that I didn't look nervous and that it was great! I thought that was super sweet of her. She told me, Sister Henson, Sister Black and Sister Bouwhis that we need to keep in contact with her when that time comes to leave because she loves us so much. I said I for sure would. She said, “Well that is what all missionaries say and I have only kept in contact with one for a long time.” So I am making a goal for myself that I am going to really stay in contact with the people who have become part of my life. So mom I need you to help me with that and create a new e-mail address for me so I can give it to people so I can have their e-mail address and they can have mine!
Oh mom did I tell you that Sister Black and another Sister got to hang out with us till Wednesday afternoon! Yeah, because Sister Black and this other Sister were waiting for new missionaries to arrive as they are both also now training. So we had four Sisters until Wednesday so that was lots of fun! But it was very sad when that time had to come to say good bye. But it's going to be neat because Sister Black and I have made plans to go to Hawaii on a trip and to even try to go to New York to see the Sacred Grove too! So I'm super excited but I just have to save some money first before she gets home. But yeah!
Well mom I love ya and miss ya lots. So tell me how things are going at home and if there are any new plans happening to our home and what's new in Shelley or just any news. I hope you’re doing well and that you are still going to the Temple every week! I know you will see the blessings of going and it will help you become stronger in the Gospel and twenty times closer to the Lord! I want to tell you something mom; I would like to go to the Temple when I come home off my mission when I get off the plane so I can go to the Idaho Falls Temple as a missionary. I wonder if that is possible and Melanie, Troy and Rachel, Jackson, Wade and Cadi can be there and you and dad. That would be just so cool! I hope we are able to do that and we all can get a picture outside the Temple! That will be so cool! So mom let’s try to plan for that okay!
Well mom I have to run and write to the new Mission President and tell him a little about myself and about what's going on here in La Porte. I love you, I love you lots, and have fun at Girls’ Camp and please tell all the girls I love them very much and I'm so proud of them, and that they are always in my prayers and I think of them always, and have fun with all the bugs. And yeah mom I know what you will go through with camp because over here in Texas, there is nothing but lots of bugs and mosquitoes. I haven't told ya that yet but ya we have to deal with them every day! So I am not feeling sorry for y’all. Lol, just teasing. Just wear lots of bug spray and oh I learned this in Texas … if you eat bananas, the mosquitoes are attracted to ya! Just for you information! Well I love you!
Love Sister Hawkins!
Since I don't have any new pictures to post from Emily this week, I thought I would post the ones of her nieces and nephew she was talking about in her letter.
Kadie and Ella
(Could you tell them apart?!?)
Rylee - 5 months old
Zaebyn - 13 months old