Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Loving her family!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hey Mom,

Oh my goodness, I have been typing like crazy to my amazing siblings and telling them how proud I am of them! Can I say I have the best family in the WORLD!!!! They are so wonderful! You and Dad and Melanie, Wade and Rachel have been such a wonderful support through letters and tapes and packages. It helps me so much to keep on going and to endure to the end! I just love the letters that ya'll write to me; they just help me so much through the day! It's so wonderful! It's a blessing to have such a great family that is so supportive and that is so willing to help anyone out! There are some families out there that just don't help each other or don't have a strong love and it's super sad! It really is! But I know what makes us so strong together! It's the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And all four of us kids are so grateful to have parents raise us up in the Church to make it our goals to serve missions and to go to the temple and to be sealed for time and all eternity! Isn't that just so cool mom! I just love my family! They are truly the Best Ever!

So this might be my last letter in La Porte or this might not be! Transfers are in a week! And we get the call Saturday! Oh boy! I just don't like transfers because they make you so worried and stressed out that week! So I sent two packages home with more stuff that I have gotten mom; I got me some pretty cool La Porte shirts that I liked and I got me some Texas shirts too! I hope that is okay! But I also sent home some stuff that I don't use, and if I am leaving in a week, it just makes stuff easier to pack! I swear when you come out on a mission you obtain more stuff then what you brought out on my mission! But hey, I love the stuff I get because it's always gonna help me remember the wonderful memories of my mission! So it's the Best!

Well tomorrow is TEMPLE DAY!!! Super duper cool! I just can't wait; it's been so long! I just miss going to the Temple weekly! The Temple just give you strength to help you come through the tough times that we deal with in life so it's so wonderful to have the Temple to go inside and leave all the worries and stress behind us! Plus the Houston Temple is so pretty! And it's so cool that my good Elder friends are gonna be there too! They have been there every time that I have gone to the Houston Temple! It's Elder Rassmussen and Elder Walker and I think there are some other Elders but I don't know them as well as I do with them! So I'm pretty excited I get to see them tomorrow! Tomorrow is gonna be so much fun! I love our Temple trip days!

Well missionary work has been good, we have been doing a lot of finding because we just don't have much of a teaching pool but it seems this last week the Lord really helped us to find some people to go back and try. Sometimes that is hard because you get nervous and scared to go back and try, but I just have to keep thinking in my head that the Lord is here for us to help us in his work and He is going to direct us to know where we need to go! I love having the spirit to direct us, but it seems sometimes that it's not there but you just have to go with faith and just really listen to the Holy Ghost!

Wow this is sad that my letter is so short … I just kinda don't know what to write to you, but it's just been a busy week of just trying to find people and often getting rejected and then keep pressing forward to go find those who are searching for the truth! But we have been seeing families that just need us right now and we are just there for support to help them out because missionaries are just so important to have in wards to help members and less actives and even new converts because they have that spirit to really help them come closer to our Heavenly Father and that is just so wonderful that I have that opportunity to do that and to help them come closer to our savior Jesus Christ! It's just so wonderful! Well we are still teaching Morris and he is going to go out this weekend to see if he wants to get baptized which I think is super cool. I hope that I am still here to hear what he wants to do, if not, then some other lucky missionary is going to teach him the rest of the lessons and help him come to the waters of baptism, but you never know what the Lord has in store for me! But we will see at the end of the week!

Well my time is short and I took time today to write to all my awesome siblings and I still have to write to President Crawford. I love you mom and thanks for all the wonderful support that you have been to me! I hope you have fun with all your grandkids and I just loved all the wonderful pictures that you have sent to me! Man my family is just growing up so much and it was so cool to see a picture of Sister Hall. I miss her so much! I need to write to here but it seems I don't have time to write anyone anymore. Please send her my love! Well I hope you have fun and I will write to you next week and tell you if I'm still in La Porte of if I'm somewhere else! But I'll go where ever the Lord wants me to go! I love you!


Sister Hawkins!

P.S. By the way I just love the Temple necklace you sent me! I just wear it everyday and it just makes me feel so much closer to home so thank you mom! And thanks for who made it; I think you said Sister Albright! But I just love it! Thanks!

Sister Castle and I getting nails done! yep!
Super fun and dont' worry ... missionaries are allowed to do nails! :)

Here is me tracking and it's super hot ...
and ya I am wearing a black shirt! lol

Me cooking for the Elders and us this morning for p-day!

One of my favorite families that I love a lot!
They are the Smiths and they are just so wonderful!

This is the Hall family ... love them!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week of Service

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hey Mom,

Well this week has been a really challenging week with both missionary work and service. Last Monday was super fun as it was a zone p-day so we got together with lots of other missionaries and we had fun playing basketball. I got to see some of my old district there like Elder Walker and my other friend Elder Rassumen along with Sister Tanner and Sister Hatch, so it was a fun day! I love p-days. It’s a nice time to have fun and to wear some sweats or jeans! It's the best!

Well this week we have been busy doing service. I have told you before about the Neighborhood Center; well we went there again this last week to help pass out food. It's sad that it might be my last time because transfers are coming up in two weeks and we would go another time except that the fourth Tuesday of this month is when we get to go to the TEMPLE!!!! :) I did get some pictures this last time though with some of the people there that I have known for a while so that was cool so I will send ya pictures of the Neighborhood Center. We always have so much fun doing that! It's just neat all the people that we see and help out in La Porte. If I leave in two weeks I will miss doing that so much! : (

We went and saw some people in our ward that we haven’t seen in a while and we also went tracting. Boy it's tough to go knocking on doors in this heat down here! I'm just so glad that this summer it's not humid because if it was humid like it's suppose to be then it would be twenty times more miserable! But I keep praying to help me get through the hot days! It's even hotter when we ride our bikes! Yep, that is right, you read it right, I am back on my bike! Yeah, it's fun but it's so nasty when you stop riding and all of a sudden you’re all wet from sweat because you don't have that breeze that was blowing on your face! It's nasty! But hey you got to do what you got to do!

So things have been going good with the elderly gentleman Morris. We got to do a church tour this last week with him and it went well! And guess what? He came to church and he is going to come next week too! The Elders said he participated in Priesthood which is super awesome!!! I was super glad! Morris said that he is going to come next week and on the weekend he has certain places in the plains (not mountains -- the plains) that he is going to read and pray to see if he wants to get baptized! So that will be exciting if he gets an answer to his prayers and if he wants to get baptized! He is a really nice guy but he sure does love to talk! He always calls us to see when we are going to see him next and we never really do the calling, its funny!

Well we also did more service this week for a lady in the ward! She is super cool and I haven't really gotten to know her that well until now. We did yard work, pulled weeds and we planted weird Texas bushes that are really common around here. It was fun and it was nice to work. I just love doing service for everyone! It gives us blessings and we are able to go find those who are searching for the Gospel!

Well we have seen some less actives and we are truly trying our best to help them come back to church and to really see the importance of renewing their baptismal covenant! Because it's so important! But we are making small progress with some people; they haven't come to church yet but hopefully they will soon! And what would be cool would be if they did before I may have to leave in two weeks! But hey let’s hope and pray that I stay in La Porte for another transfer! That would be wicked sweet to stay in an area for half my mission and then at different places the other half. But I guess we will see in two weeks! We get calls on the 30th of July! Luckily the ward is having a Ward Social that night and so I will be taking lots of pictures with families in case I leave so I won't have to make so many trips on Sunday to say good bye to people in La Porte that I have grown to love!

Well Saturday was kind of a relaxing day because Sister Henson was sick. But mom you know I have been telling you that I have been behind in my journal; well that was a blessing to have her sick so I could do some catching up on my journal. I also did a lot of pondering that day about the people we are seeing and teaching and thought about what we can do for them to help them come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! So Saturday was a pondering day to really help me because missionary life has been tough; being a trainer and trying to lead the area and to teach my companion missionary stuff to better help her be a great teacher, and then all the meetings we have been having this transfer! Man it's been a busy transfer, there is just not a dull moment in missionary work!

I have been reading the Book of Mormon and I am in Alma and I am just loving the Book of Alma. I am so grateful that the Book of Alma is long because there are such great stories in there that you can learn and apply to your own life. Plus the Book of Alma is really based on lots of missionary work so that makes it even more cool to read and see of how I can become a better missionary. It's really neat how every time I read from the Book of Mormon how lots of missionary stuff pops up, and it's a good, and an amazing thing because I am a missionary right now and I need to learn about those things to better myself and to really become more like my Savior Jesus Christ! It's so cool!

So mom, we have a lady who is in charge of the missionary meals calendar and she is less active but is just the sweetest person. I wish she would come to church so she could be fed spiritually and also have that faith and courage she needs to do her calling and make meal appointments. But we know, especially with our calling as a missionary that it can be tough and challenging sometimes making those phone calls! But we have been reading the Book of Mormon with her from the beginning and Holy Texas!!!! It's so cool the things that I am learning with her when we go see her every week! It's the neatest thing. I learned about Lehi and how he sees the Book of Life when he is in a vision. I thought it was scriptures; no it's the book of life where he sees what will happen to Jerusalem! Isn't that cool that he got that vision to see what will happen in the future? And it's so true that God does know what choices or mistakes we make and it was cool for Lehi to have that experience. I learned that because we were reading 1 Nephi 1:11 where it says he gets a book and so Sister Wilmoth wanted to know what book he got so we searched the scriptures and found out the answer … pretty cool uh! I just wanted to share that with ya what I learned. There is a lot more that I learned but my time on the computer is kind of getting short. I know when I get home we will for sure sit down and do some awesome scripture studies and I will tell ya all the cool things that I have learned from the Book of Mormon! It's neat to have Book of Mormon studies with members or missionaries because you learn so many new things that you have never seen before. So I hope telling you that about Lehi makes sense; I just never knew that before and so I just wanted to share that will ya, hopefully I wrote it down right so that it makes sense!

So mom, guess what I got the other day? You know Elder Wilde from Shelley, I forgot to tell ya I got to see him at leadership training last transfer because he was a District Leader and I asked how James Dufur was and he said he was doing well. I asked for his address and so this last week I got his address so I am going to e-mail or write him and hopefully I can hear back from him soon and see how he is doing! But cool uh! I have been thinking about Jason Forbush too and wondering how he is doing on his mission. I am going to try to track him down also. I sure miss my friends from my missionary prep class and I wonder how they are doing on their missions! But I know that we are all busy in the Lord's work helping find our brothers and sisters who are waiting to hear about the Gospel!

Well mom, I better get going. I have to still write to President Crawford and then try to write Dufur and Forbush so I better go! But I am also gonna send you some pictures too that I have taken recently k! I love you mom! :)

Love Sister Hawkins

Need sunglasses in Texas!

A Dalmatian Pez sent to me by the Banks family.
I love it!!!!

Sister Hawkins and Sister Hatch (during exchanges)

Sisters Henson, Tanner, Hatch, and Hawkins ... silly girls!

Zone P-day

Working at the Neighborhood Center

Onions anyone???

Some of the wonderful ladies I have met working
at the Neighborhood Center!

A street named Texas ... in Texas!

Look at the size of this leaf!!! It's called an Elephant Plant!
No wonder the leaves are so big!!!

Sister Gale ... just love this women!
She helps us missionaries soooooo much!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moldenhauers are home!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Dear Mom,

Oh my goodness, so much to tell you in so little time! Today is zone p-day and so we have to get things done before the zone activities and so I am super busy! I think every p-day goes by quick because I do the things that I need to do and I can't get all the things done that I want to and sometimes that makes me grumpy! But oh well! LOL

Well I got your e-mail and oh my goodness, I just loved the pictures you sent of the Moldenhauers Homecoming! I loved seeing the pictures of all my old companions: Sister Smith, Sister Brosnahan and Sister! They all look so great! I really miss them so much! I really admire and look up to those three awesome Sisters! They have really changed my life and really helped me to become the fun person that I am today! I just remember all the neat experiences that I had with them and the pictures that we have taken together and all the hard times that we went through! I just can't wait to see them again! I just miss them so much! They are just the best ever! I will never forget them and their sweet spirits and there amazing testimonies!

Well things have been going good in the work. We are working with an elderly man named Morris and he is just golden. He is loving the things that we are teaching him and he is reading the Book of Mormon and he is trying to come to church but he can't because of work. But he is just so cool! And it was funny when Sister Hatch was here one day last week when we did exchanges, she said she had tracked Morris’s street in December. Well Sister Henson and I tracked it two weeks ago and now we are teaching him! How amazing is that mom?! I just can't believe it. It was like he wasn't ready back in December but now he is. It's going to be so cool when we commit him to baptism to see what he says! We are seeing him tonight and having dinner with him! We have such wonderful ward missionaries that helps us a lot, especially Sister Taylor; we always ask her and she just loves coming out with us and she is going to come with us tonight. I think tonight we are going to commit him to baptism. The work is also neat because the ward is trying to find the less actives and help them come back to church. We tried one yesterday, a very nice lady, and we have a return appointment so we will see how that goes this week.

It feels like the work is starting to get fired up again. Ever since I have been here in January I have seen the lows and I have seen the highs in this area and I just love La Porte! It's the best place ever! It's just a boost when people are talking to me and they tell me it's so awesome to see how much I have changed and have grown! I think it's good that people are saying that because I think it helps Sister Henson a lot to know that she too is going to change over time and that she is going to be different. It has been helping me too because I am seeing the blessings of that change and I am not the same girl who came out on the mission. I'm different and I'm changed! It's going to be super crazy when I come home at my homecoming and speak in Sacrament … you’re going to be so amazed and everyone is going to be like who is this girl! So it's going to be cool for ya'll!

Well its super hot here in Texas, oh my goodness, and there is really no humidity right now; it's just really HOT!!!!! It's so crazy; as soon as you go outside you just sweat! It's just nasty. I don't know what your weather is like but it's just not the funnest thing here and people around here are telling me it's going to get worse during August and September and I'm like, “Oh man! How worse can it get?” I'm going to have to just pray for strength to get through the heat because I just don't like the heat; I just like the coldness. I really miss the snow and I miss swimming. It's crazy cool of how there are small pools around here and it stinks that we can't go swimming but oh well, when I got home I will go swimming!

Well I want to take a minute to write about the scriptures. I have been reading the Book of Mormon again, and it's my third time on my mission. I'm am not bragging; I'm just trying to see how many times I can read the Book of Mormon before I go home. And man there is just so many cool things that I am catching in the Book of Mormon that are super cool! It's so neat all the things that I'm just seeing on missionary work and also about the Atonement. That is what my focus is really on this time reading is the Atonement and highlighting things that are talking about the Atonement and its super cool! I just have such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon! It's so strong and so powerful and I'm going to do what President committed me to do and that is to read the Book of Mormon three times a year. I'm going to do it so I can keep reading from it and obtaining the knowledge that I need in this life. I just love the Book of Mormon and I hope you are also reading it and gaining things from it. And mom when you see the Book of Mormon that the Moldenhaurs gave me you are going to want to read it and see all the cool markings and things that I have put in the Book of Mormon. It's sad, but cool in a way, that my binding on the book is already falling apart because I use the Book of Mormon so much! It's amazing!

So Mom and Dad and family and friends, I EXHORT!!!!!!! which means encourage, like it says a whole lot in Moroni 10 to really read the Book of Mormon and to really apply it to your life. It will bless you so much! It has blessed my life as a missionary and it's just super amazing! I just know this church to be true and if it wasn't I would not dedicate my life for 18 months to serve the Lord. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he, through the power of God, did translate the Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ. Have you ever just looked back and just thought about how wonderful the Gospel is and really think what your life would be without the Church? Oh my goodness, my life would be lost and such a mess. But we have the wonderful restored truth that is back on the earth so take that advantage and read and study about the Gospel and get a Preach My Gospel book and do family studies so you can be so much closer to your Heavenly Father! I'm so grateful to be a missionary even though I go through tough times but I know the Lord is helping me through so much and I am just relying on Him!

Well I love you mom and I miss you lots. Thanks for all the love and support that you and the family are! I miss you and love ya long time! Well I got to run!

Love Sister Hawkins

Frank and I had the awesome experience of attending the Moldenhauer’s Homecoming yesterday in Soda Springs, Idaho. The chapel and gym were packed and the Spirit was so strong. For the closing song they had everyone in attendance that had served under the Moldenhauers in the Texas Houston East Mission come to the front of the chapel and sing the Sisters in Zion/Army of Helaman song. There had to have been close to 150 returned missionaries participate. Powerful!!! We got to visit with the Moldenhauers for just a few minutes and personally thank them for all they have done for Emily. They had many great things to say about Sister Hawkins and they marvel at her growth and new found strength and tell us we will not recognize her when she returns. We also had the opportunity to visit with three of Emily’s companions that have all now returned from their missions. It was so great to chat with them and hear more great stories about Emily. How grateful we are for this blessing in Emily’s life and for the opportunity we have as her parents to share this amazing experience with her. Here a just a few pictures from yesterday’s homecoming.

After church we all went to a nearby park to visit with
President and Sister Moldenhauer.  The line was
extremely long but so worth the wait!

The Moldenhauers took time to visit with each and every person!

We were next in line when I took this picture ...
can you not just see the love he has for these young men!

Unfortunately this is the only picture I got of Emily's
first companion, Sister Smith

Second companion Sister Brosnahan and
third companion Sister Singleton

Emily made me promise to take some pumpkin cake
so here is proof that I did (I actually took two cakes)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A new Mission President

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dear Mom,

Wow, where do I begin! This past week has been super busy and very much crazy and I sure hope that I have time to write to you all my feelings and all the things that I have gone through this week! Well this last week has been tough and very challenging and we also have done lots and lots of service! It really has been a crazy week! Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month we go to a center that gives out food to families who need it and we help hand out the food. It's been fun to be able to serve the community and to always meet new people! Some days its super busy and other days it goes by slow but this last week when we got there it was super busy and crazy with lots of people trying to get food! It does eventually slow down near the end though. When everything is over we have the chance to get some food too and so this week we got lots of rice! That is a Texas and Louisiana thing! Yummy rice!

After helping at the center, Sister Taylor, who helps us with our missionary work, went with us to go see a family who is really struggling right now. When we got there the mom was just a wreck and she is just going through a whole lot right now so we were trying to comfort her and were also helping her to pack stuff to move out. It was just super crazy helping her get packed but it was a tender mercy for me because it made me really realize just how important families are and it made me think of you and our family and all the tough times that we have gone through. It also made me realize how having the gospel can make the tough times easier to get through.

Well after helping out this mom, Sister Henson and I had a neat experience with Sister Taylor. She talked with us about marriage and how it is important to pick the right man and to really fast and pray and go to the temple and ponder about your decision! It's just important! She encouraged us to really take the time to get to know the person we are going to marry. And so that is my goal for sure; to really know my future husband before I jump into things! So I have been learning a lot about families and about praying and fasting about marriage! Weird uh as a missionary to learn that on your mission! But it's a blessing to really help us be prepared for when we come home, to know what we are looking for in a companion and to really have goals of what kind of family we want in the future!

Another service that we did this week was helping a sister who was painting her house. She too has been struggling a lot since I have been here and my companions and I have been able to help her do so many things and I have really grown close to Crystal. She has a hard life and it is not easy. Through these past months of visiting her I have truly learned the importance of raising a family in the gospel and having a temple marriage and how we need to learn to rely on the Savior! It's so important to have the Savior in your life; to really have Him to be there for you to comfort you when things are just going out of wack and to have Him there when you need someone to talk to when you feel alone, and to have Him there to really give you that direction in life to help better yourself and your family! You just always need the Savior in your life and your family needs to have the Gospel and that strong foundation!

Not very long ago we met an elderly man and we had the wonderful opportunity to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. He had lost his wife about a month and half ago and it was just really neat to study about it while we were planning the lesson for him. I was reminded of what a wonderful blessings it is to know where we are going after this life and to know that we can be families forever! So it has just been so neat to do different service projects this week and to learn more about families and about charity and the pure love of Christ!

Well guess who I got to see on Friday the 1st of July? I got to see my new Mission President! President and Sister Crawford! They had all the missionaries in two zones stand in the gym. We didn't have the whole mission meet together; they split the zones up into three days so two zones met him on the 30th and then the 1st and then the 2nd so we all could have that time to meet them. So we got to stand in a line and then they came by to visit with each one of us. President Crawford gave me a good hand shake and he was so kind. He asked where I was from and he even said he knew where Shelley was so that was super cool! He said he knew Shelley because they had family around that area, but I asked who they were and well I for sure didn’t know them. But then he told me he was excited to get to know me better! Then Sister Crawford came up to me and just gave me the longest hug ever! For real … all the other hugs I saw her do were short but for some reason she gave me a long hug so I felt really special and I think she knew I needed a hug badly! She said she was so excited to get to know me better and asked how long I have been out and she told me to keep chugging along and that I am going to do well!

After they met each one of us we had the chance to hear them speak. Sister Crawford has a degree in counseling and even worked for LDS Family Services, which I thought was cool. Her talk was neat and she spoke about faith and told us to keep chugging along and to rely on the Lord. Then President Crawford spoke and he said that he was a very emotional man and that he loves us already. He said that he and Sister Crawford just love the Moldenhauers because of all the wonderful things they did to help them be prepared for this new calling. He also said that they were given the mission movie of all the pictures of us at Christmas time. President Crawford just loves that movie and loves seeing all our faces and he and Sister Crawford just love us so much. He even cried a lot in the meeting … he is an emotional guy! He also told us not to be scared if he looks at us and we think that he is mad at us because that is just how his face looks and that he is just thinking. He says he never gets mad. It was pretty funny because when they were sitting on the stand he didn't have any facial expression and he looked like a hard type mission president and I was thinking to myself, “Oh boy, this is going to be a hard last eight months of my mission!” But after he said that and bore his testimony of the Gospel and told us how excited he is to be our Mission President, I received comfort knowing that things are going to be good! So then after the meeting we got pictures with them which was super awesome! President Crawford wanted me to tell you and dad that you and our family are loved by them and they are so grateful you raised such a wonderful kid to go serve and share the gospel and that they are praying for you too.

So my 4th of July was fun! Of course it was our p-day so we couldn't e-mail but we went shopping and I made more cd's of my pictures! Man I take a lot of pictures of my mission! Super fun! Well after shopping we went to the Elders place to clean their dishes because earlier that morning we had gone over there and they made us breakfast. We usually do that every p-day so that is super fun! And after we cleaned the dishes Sister Henson and I went over to a member’s home to hang out and to work on a puzzle till the Elders were done playing basket ball with some members. Then we headed over to the Prigmores and that was super fun to see the family and have fun! Then we went over to the Edwards to eat some smores and to meet a lady who Sister Edwards has been talking to about the Gospel and we played some games like water piñata! Luckily I didn’t get wet! It's a bag full of water and you hit it and you might get wet or you might not. Then when it was dark we saw some fireworks. The fireworks made me think of home a whole lot and I just imagined us on the green belt last year watching fireworks. I still like Idaho Falls fireworks the best! These were okay! So the 4th was fun hanging out with the different families.

I better get going. I will send ya a picture of me with President and Sister Crawford so you can see us together. I love you mom and I miss you a whole lot. And just to let you know, I am learning so much and things are hard but I am becoming much stronger and things are going to get better! I love you and I hope to hear from ya soon! I loved all the Girls’ Camp pictures, they were cool to see! Don't worry I will go next year hopefully! But it sure did look like lots of fun which I am glad! I love the sweatshirts! Super cool! Well I'm fixin to leave. But I love you!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Sister Hawkins with President and Sister Crawford

Breakfast on p-day at the Elders
(We have to eat outside because we cant be in
the same appartment together -- mission rules!)

July 4th at the Prigmores -- they love to decorate!

July 4th at the Edwards

Water Piñata!
(I did not get wet!)

Sister Henson and I at the fireworks!

My awesome counselor Ken!