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
(I did not get wet!)
(I did not get wet!)
Sister Henson and I at the fireworks!
My awesome counselor Ken!