Monday, August 29, 2011

Taught by an Apostle of the Lord

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dear Mom,

Oh my goodness, where do I begin to tell you about all the things that has been going on this past week! I can for sure tell you that I am super tired and very much warn out!

Jesse Gonzales was baptized this last Thursday! Sister Tanner and her companion Sister Salisbury came back to Baytown to attend his baptism since Sister Tanner had started teaching him while she was serving here. It was just a wonderful baptism! I just love watching the people I get to teach enter into the waters of baptism! Jesse has changed so much even since I began teaching him and he is just an amazing guy! He is going to do so many wonderful things in the ward and he is just going to keep growing so much stronger and closer to the Lord! It's so neat to know Jesse and to keep watching him grow! He is just glowing so bright and he is just so excited to get a calling in the church and to keep growing closer to the Lord! He was truly prepared for the Sisters when they first met him! So it's been so cool to be a part of his journey to come unto Jesus Christ and to our Heavenly Father!

Well I remember telling you in my last letter that I was going to hear from Elder Jeffrey R Holland! Can I just say how AMAZING it was!!!!! The Spirit was so awesome and what was even cooler … I GOT TO SHAKE HIS HAND!!!!!! :) Super awesome! It was so neat to meet him and then to listen to his talk was just so powerful! But the neat thing was I looked into his eyes and he did that with me too! And at the beginning of his talk he told how he looked into all of our eyes and he could see in couple of us that we are struggling right now and that we are trying to do our best for the Lord and to do his work! And mom I truly believe that was towards me and to other missionaries that are struggling right now! It was just so neat and he told us that he loves us dearly as do the First Presidency and all the members in the world along with our family and friends. He told us they all love us and are here to support us! It was just neat to hear him tell us that we can get through this and that it is helping us become closer to our Savior!

At the beginning of his talk he congratulated us all for looking so sharp and as missionaries for acting so well and being prepared for his coming and wanting to learn and be taught by him. I thought that was pretty neat! And then you know how Elder Holland has such a strong testimony on missionary work … well he talked about how our mission comes once in a lifetime unless we are called as senior couples when we are older with our loved one and then he said, " This is only Going to Come Once". I truly thought about that and it’s so true; my mission is going to only come once and I need to work so hard and just enjoy every minute and love every second of it, even when it seems so hard to bear sometimes! Elder Holland shared with us how in three weeks it will have been 49 years since he served his mission and told us that there is not one day that has gone by that he hasn’t thought about his mission! And I was thinking, Holy Texas! He was on a mission 49 years ago! That is super cool. Then he talked about how much missionary work has improved for us and how we have all these wonderful tools to help us become better missionaries like Preach My Gospel! Mom do you know how many years it took to make that book? It took 7 years to make! How amazing is that! And I just love to study from it and it doesn't matter what I have studied before, when I restudy I keep learning new things that I haven't caught before! It's like reading the Book of Mormon; you keep rereading it and you keep finding new things that teach you so much! It helps you improve your life and it's just so amazing!

Elder Holland also talked about not having regrets on our mission. Well, I look back and yes, I do wish I could have changed stuff but I know it all happened for a reason and it has totally changed me for the better! I know in life we make mistakes and do wrong things and we hold onto this regret and we wish we could change it … well, we can't go back and change things in the past and so we have to accept it and learn from it and apply it to our lives and continue to move forward and go on! The next cool thing he shared with us towards the end of his talk was why mission life is so hard and why we have to go through so much pain and suffering and not be happy sometimes. He shared this amazing quote with us and it is so true! “Salvation is not a cheap experience." That is why things are so hard sometimes because salvation is not cheap; Christ paid for our sins and sorrows and He died for us to come back to live with our Heavenly Father and with Him again, and it wasn't easy for Him. So why does our life have to be easy … if it was easy then what is the point in life. We are here to learn and grow. I remember this one sister in a ward I served in and her name is Sister Wallace. When she would bear her testimony she would always add how she loves trials in her life and I thought about it and I was like, “Wow that is interesting.” But she said that is how it made her stronger in life and how she becomes closer to her Heavenly Father and our older brother Jesus Christ! Interesting thought uh! So like in every trial I am in, it’s tough yes, but I think of Sister Wallace and her strong testimony and it just helps me out so much!

Well my time is running short and I wish I could tell you more but I just don't have time today because it's zone p-day! But things are still tough in this new area and I am still trying to push forward but I know all I have to do is keep having faith and moving forward. Listening to Elder Holland words and advice has helped me and so I am going to keep my chin up like Wade said in a letter to me and I am going to keep pressing forward!

Well I love you mom and I’m sorry for this short letter but I have a lot of e-mails today to read! I love you and thanks for all the love and the support that you give me!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Jesse's Baptism!

Being silly!

Love Sister Tanner ... she is goofy like me!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lots of service this week!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dear Mom,

Well this week has been tough. We have been trying to find people to teach and to visit and well people either aren't home or they just don't want to learn about wonderful gospel that we live in! So we have been trying less-actives and that has been kinda good, but people still haven't been home a lot when we go by or they are just too busy for us. So this week has been tough with not a lot of people to teach and even knocking on doors has been tough; seems like it is always the wrong street or wrong time to go knocking!

But I must say we have been doing a lot of service! This last week we worked at a homeless shelter where we help out every other week and so Sister Hatch and I got to scrub the carpets with water and soap because I guess the other stuff isn’t working too well! So that was hard because it hurt my knees and my back scrubbing the floor! Plus my shoulders were hurting that night because of scrubbing so hard. But we had our entire district and some Spanish missionaries there to help, so that was neat!

We also helped out an elderly lady this week and her name is Sister Schamburger! And mom she is just the cutest old lady ever!!! And I think that she likes me a lot. I accidently replied “yes ma'am” to her when she guessed my first name was Emily and so now she calls me Emily. I nicely told her that she needs to call me Sister Hawkins and she said she will and she does when we are around people at church or when we are over at her house for dinner. Last night she had Sister Hatch and I, a dear friend that lives with her to help pay bills whose name is Kevin, and Kevin’s brother all over for dinner so she made sure to call me Sister Hawkins. There were a couple of times she slipped and did say Emily though but she was really trying! But this last week we went over to help clean her home and she really appreciated that because she is at that age where she can't do a lot of deep cleaning so we helped her out! This week Sister Hatch and I and the Elders are going to go help clean her garage! So that is going to be lots of fun; I have seen it and oh boy … lots to do this next week at her home! But I know it will be fun because she is so funny and just loves to laugh a lot!

Well I had an interesting experience this week; we saw a recent convert of about a year, Sister Humphrey and she is a sweet elderly lady too. Well last Friday we met her dear friend Kathy. Earlier that day I felt impressed to go see Sister Humphrey and when we showed up the Elders were also there and they were putting a fan together for Sister Humphrey's friend Kathy. So I sat right next to Kathy to get to know her and she was the sweetest lady ever and she told me that she has had the missionary discussions in the past and been to church. She told me she likes it but isn’t going to change. It made me laugh because it was just cute how she said it! Well we shared with her Helaman 5:12 about having that firm foundation in Christ. I said prayer before we left and Kathy said she was going to see us on Sunday. Well Sunday came and Kathy didn't come. We went to go see Sister Humphrey and she looked upset when she came to the door. She let us in and asked us if we had heard the news. Sister Hatch and I looked puzzled and we were like, “What news?” She then told us that Kathy had passed away! Apparently when Sister Humphrey had not heard from Kathy all weekend she knew there must be something wrong because they are like sisters and always talk. Even though they are not blood related, they are very close! So Sister Humphrey got the manager and they tried Kathy’s place but couldn't get in so then the police came in and broke down Kathy's door and they knew she had passed because of the smell. So poor Sister Humphrey is going through a tough time losing a very close friend that is dear to her heart! She doesn't have a husband either because he passed away a few years back or so it's been pretty tough for her because she has no one to mourn with. So Sister Hatch and I and the Elders have been there helping her this last past week. Sister Humphrey shared with me that what has helped her the most through this difficult time is my prayer that I said before we left the last time we saw Kathy. In the prayer I asked God to bless Kathy and Sister Humphrey with whatever they stood in need of and that I knew the Lord knew what was best for them and to help them and keep them safe and bless them! So Sister Humphrey is just so thankful for that prayer. I didn't realize that I did that until she reminded me of the prayer but I know that brings comfort to her.

So Sister Hatch and I have a viewing/funeral to go to in a couple weeks on the 12th of September! So this is going to be like my 4th or 5th funeral I have been to on my mission! I am just so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and that I can help people get through the tough times and help them understand more of the plan that God has for us and that we go through losses to draw closer to God and to know that He is there for us and that He loves us dearly! I'm so grateful for the Gospel and to really understand a lot of things in life and why we have to go through the trials to help us become stronger!

Well guess what? I have super duper exciting news! Guess who I get to see and to hear from and to shake hands with............ Elder Jefferey R. Holland!!!! That is right! He is coming to speak to us and to two other missions! How crazy cool is that! I'm so excited! This will be the second time I will hear and see him on my mission because I got to hear from him at the MTC but I didn't get to shake his hand. I know it's going to be intense with all the security guards and stuff but it's going to be so good! I'm just so excited to hear what he is going to say to us! I can't wait to write to you next Monday and share with you what he talked to three missions about! I know it's going to be super good!!! :) I couldn't believe it when they told us that we get to hear and see Elder Holland! Can't wait!!! I don't know if we can get pictures with him or not but we will see what happens; that would be super cool if we did but there are going to be lots of missionaries there and so it's going to be interesting if we can get pictures or not! But that would be so, so cool! So thanks for sending me those new shoes; I'm saving them for Friday so my shoes can look new and shinny to meet an apostle!!! It’s going to be super duper good!

Well I don't have much more exciting news, just a busy week trying to find our brothers and sisters so that we can teach them more of the gospel. Hopefully this next week will be better but I know that through the trials that we go through it makes us stronger and builds our testimonies and helps us draw closer to God and makes us ready for the next trial that we have in life!

I love you mom and I miss ya lots. Oh and by the way, I need to let the Mission Office know by next transfer where I am flying in to so let me know if it's going to be Idaho Falls or up in Salt Lake City. I will probably have more information soon about what I need to tell them for my plane tickets; it’s crazy that they plan this stuff in so far in advance! But I love you and I will write to ya soon!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mighty HOT days in Texas!

Another email from Emily.  I just don't know how she is handling the heat!  I looked on the internet today and it said it was 99 degrees in Baytown, Texas but it felt like 108 degrees!  And the sad thing is that there is no relief in site! I certainly can't complain about our warm days here in Idaho!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dear Mom,

Well it's been a really long week and it's really HOT here in Texas! We got to ride our bikes for the first time in Baytown and boy, let me tell you, that was so scary!! I have no idea why here in Texas they don't believe in having sidewalks, but they don’t, so we have to ride our bikes either on the grass which is hard, or we ride on the road! So we tried the grass and unfortunately it doesn't work to well when you have a skirt on because you really can't do tricks to lift your bike onto the curb. So we road our bikes on the road! And well, let’s just say I felt the breeze of a car really close to me! Like this car was so close that if I had moved to the left, uh I would have gotten hit by a car! Yeah pretty scary! We are trying to save miles and it's pretty tough when there are five weeks in month! Then we have to be really smart of not using too many car miles! So it's been tough to be on track for miles! They made a new rule that if you are 20 miles away from going over, well the district leader is gonna take your car keys away! That is how serious they are about not going over miles, so we have to report our miles on Sundays! So it's gonna be interesting if that is gonna happen to us! But we will see ya know!

Well this week has been tough. We have been trying to visit a lot of the less actives in the ward and let’s just say they aren't home or they don't answer the door or that they just don't want us to come over! So ya! It's been frustrating! We had an investigator that Sister Hatch and Sister Tanner had been working with dropped us this week and that was sad. We talked for a bit with her, a really nice lady, but she still believes in her faith and just doesn't want to learn anymore, so that was sad. She was really cool! She has a turtle that is going to get really big like the one in the zoo back home and she also has a lizard. It is not a normal lizard but a really big lizard like the ones that stick out there tongues and eat fruit and dog food and just human food that is healthy! So ya I saw it! It was just really big. I couldn't take a picture because we were focusing on her! But Sister Hatch did talk with her about having it because this lady wants to get rid of it so Sister Hatch told her that she would have it. So I guess after her mission she is going to call up this lady and get a lizard … who knows what her parents are going to say! But you never know!

Well part of this last week was awesome because it was “Sister's Day!” I just love Sister's Day, because all the Sister's get together to have a good time visiting and to have some girl time! It was a very powerful meeting. We learned about how to have the Faith of Ammon and how to be missionaries like him! So that was neat. For me it was powerful because it really humbled me and showed me how to be a better missionary! I am struggling right now because of just the way some things are and trying to learn a new area and I am feeling lost a lot! But this meeting taught me to really have faith and to really study and to use the scriptures in our teaching! They want us to make a “Member Area Book” just like our investigators book so we can start teaching the members the lessons so we can better perfect our teaching skills and become better teachers and also to have the members learn more about the gospel. It's like how when I came out here and I did my studies to teach the lessons, I just learned so much, so President wants us to start teaching the members lessons and to not just go in a share scriptures like we normally do! So I'm excited to do that but I will say it will be hard for some homes because they have kids and so Sister Hatch and I need to come up with ways to teach kids and to make it fun and interesting and to not lose the kids during the lesson, so we will see how that goes!

Also at Sister's Day Sister Crawford taught us about eating healthy which was pretty sweet! I don't think I told you that she has put me on a special diet because I still am having pains. I have been doing good with the diet and eating healthy and learning what I can eat. So during the presentation I told Sister Crawford and all the Sisters that the smoothies that I drink are really good! Oh mom did I tell you that I can't drink milk anymore as it upsets my stomach? So I get Almond Milk because for one it's good and yummy and two it's healthy for ya too! But I can have ice cream but just a bit though or it will upset my stomach! But anyways, after we talked a bit, all the Sisters went into the kitchen and we had fun making all kinds of healthy foods! I made this really good healthy dip and I just love it and it's so good for ya too! I will have to send ya the recipe for you and dad to try … it's so good! Love it! But we had a really great time! I loved seeing Sister Lundgren, Sister Kinikini, Sister Black and Sister Henson! And can I say that Sister Henson is just doing so well! She just has been doing awesome! Sister Kinikini says she is just doing so good and she is just progressing so much which just makes me so happy!

We had Zone Meeting this last Friday and I saw Sister Henson again and she and I were talking and just having a good time visiting! She is starting to blossom and she is just gonna grow so much like I did! :) Sister Kinikini told me that I helped Sister Henson a lot! It's just so neat how the Lord really knows us so much and who we need to be companions with even though sometimes it can be a struggle.

Hmm what else can I tell you about my area? Oh I was at a members wedding that I really didn't know too well but I had memory flash backs because the mom was giving a toast and she talked about how she just cried a lot when she saw all her kids and their spouses together in the temple and how wonderful and special that was and it made me think of the day that Rachel and I went to the temple and how all of us were there together. I never thought that I would have my sisters and brother and my parents all in the temple at once! It made me feel the spirit a lot and made me homesick but then it made me excited for when I come home that it will happen again to have my whole family inside the temple! Mom what a wonderful blessing to have the whole family so strong in the Gospel and how all of us go to the temple to do the Lord’s work and most people don't realize what blessings they are missing out on! That is why I am serving a mission so I can find my brothers and sisters and teach them the gospel and have them come unto Christ and be baptized and then have them work towards the temple so that their families can be together forever!!!!!!! It's just the neatest thing ever!

But it was really cool because at the wedding I got to see some people from La Porte! I got to see the Prigmores, the Dorecy's, the Berges and an investigator that I was helping before I left and it was great to see some La Porte people!

Well there is not much I can tell you about this last week, it was just long and hard because I am still learning a new area but it's a working process. It was so cute last night; I was talking to Sister Henson on the phone because I thought of people they should go try and while we were talking she asked how I was doing. I told her not to good and then the next thing she said was, “Sister Hawkins, you need to rely on the Lord. I learned that a whole lot from my first companion; she kept telling me to Rely On The Lord!” It just made me smile that she was giving me back my own advice I had given her! :) I told her I know and thanked her for the reminder! It was just so cool!

Well I'm gonna bounce because I have to write President and some other people but I thank you for the awesome package with the “One Year” book! That was the coolest thing ever! I can't believe all those things that I did over the last year! That was pretty crazy I must say! Just wow! But also thanks for the shoes too. I was going to write to you today and ask you to send me a pair because the ones I have are getting pretty warn down! So thanks a bunch! Well I love you lots and I hope to hear from you soon! Lots of Love!

Sister Hawkins!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Learning the new area - Baytown, TX

Monday, August 08, 2011

Hey Mom,

So my first week in Baytown was slow and it was fun at times. Learning a new area is pretty tough and it's hard to find places! When you have been in an area for seven months, like I was in La Porte, you just know all the streets and where to take the short cuts and you just know where you are going, but heck when you get into a new area, oh boy, a whole new story and a whole lot of new experiences!

So I have been driving this last week because I think that really helps me to know the area pretty well, and plus I am really scared of Sister Hatch's driving! Holy Texas! She is a speeder and she just drives crazy! LOL So I have been driving which is a blessing because now we are safe, at least until she gets sick of me driving! But for now I am driving which is fun in a way because I can get to know the area better!

Well here in Baytown they have been teaching a guy named Jessie and he is super cool. I have been teaching him the last few times and he is just really progressing in the gospel and he is just so ready for baptism. It's just super cool! Its fun to teach him because he is just progressing so much and he just loves the gospel and loves reading the Book of Mormon! It's just been cool to meet him and to help him understand the gospel more!

So something cool happened this week! The ward here has like 60% less actives and so we are going to visit some of the people on the ward list. This past week we tried this one home and they are the Walters and they are just super nice. Brother Walter is a member but his wife is not. It was kind of funny at first because when we knocked on the door, she was the one who answered the door and so I asked for Brother Walter. She asked who we were and what we were doing! It was intense at that moment but once you think about it and look back it was funny. But then we hear a guys voice say, “Come on in!” And that was the neat part; we went in and we started to visit with him and we had a great time and she had questions about the church and we answered some and we told her that we come out on missions to help people to learn more about the church. Brother Walters hasn't been to church since he was in his teens and he told us he hasn't seen missionaries or members in a long, long, long time since they have lived here in Baytown! His wife then asked us why we picked their house and why we chose to come see Brother Walters. I told her we had not been told by anyone to come visit them but that we had just looked on the ward list and we picked their name and decided to come see them and to see how things were going. She thought that was pretty cool! We had a good time and we are now going to do a church tour with them and also start teaching her because she wants to learn more about our church. She says she doesn't want to convert over but she would like to learn more so we said, “Okay, we would love to teach you!” So we are going to start teaching the lessons to the Walter Family and see how it goes! So that was really cool to experience that this past week!

So in your last letter you asked if Baytown was like La Porte and yes it is. We have Elders in our ward as well as us Sister Missionaries. They are Elder Hardy from Kimberly Idaho and Elder Marlar from Utah, but I can't remember what part. Elder Marlar came out into the field with me so we will celebrate our one year mark together so that's gonna be cool! But these Elders are funny and they like to have fun. They only go with us to dinner appointments but they don't come with us to other appointments to members or the less actives in the ward like the ones in La Porte did. But it's been fun getting to know them though! They are really silly Elders and unfortunately in some appointments they aren't really reverent but I told them nicely they need to be a little more reverent and to help bring the spirit there and they understood and so they are getting better! But they are hard working Elders and plus they are in a bike area and so they have to ride in the worst heat of the year! Man its super HOT!!! Yesterday after church it was 104 degrees! Plus with some humidity! Yeah super hot! Luckily we have a car! I really think Sister Missionaries are spoiled because we get cars! :) Yeah!

Well guess what is also cool?! We have President Crawford’s first counselor in our ward. His name is President Pomeroy! He is the coolest, most knowledgeable guy that I know! He just knows the Book of Mormon front to back and back to front! And even the Bible! He has been helping us teach Jessie and when I am struggling to find the scripture that I know I want, he asks what it is about and he totally helps me find it for the lesson! We get to have dinner with him tonight so I am excited! We went over there one night when Jessie cancelled on us and we just had a great discussion on the Book of Mormon and shared cool things about the Plan of Salvation and just learned more about the gospel! It's just really cool! Very cool guy! So that's really neat to have him in our ward! I can't wait for you and dad to come back with me to meet all the cool people that I have met, they are just so awesome!

Well we have kind of a weird District that I am in and we just kinda don't talk or get along too well. The other Elders in our District are Elder Porter and Elder Byers and they are very, very hard working Elders but I know from Sister Tanner that Elder Porter isn’t a fan of Sister Missionaries and I don’t' know Elder Byers too well but I'm slowly getting to know them both! Unfortunately when we hang out together like for our Friday meetings and stuff, it's just weird; we don't talk and we just are all quite! But I hope the more I get to know them hopefully they will warm up and be my friend ya know!

So mom do you want to hear something super crazy! Sister Kinikini got transferred back to La Porte! Yeah for reals! How cool is that! So she is now with Sister Henson and I am so glad because Sister Kinikini will be an awesome companion for Sister Henson! She knows the La Porte area and she is a hard worker! We are gonna do exchanges this week so I might get to go back there!

But I'm out of time so I need to run and write to President Crawford! But I love you mom and I will try to write more to you soon! I love you!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Here are several pictures Emily took before leaving La Porte:

Jumping for Joy at the Houston Temple!

Temple trip before transfers

Approaching storm!

The amazing Young Women in La Porte

Sister Ruiz ... love this lady ... so cute!

The awesome Castle family!

Struthers family! Super fun ... taught me great tips to plant!

Dorsey family ... super fun!

Ward Missionary Leader in La Porte

The Berges .. they help visit the less active!

The La Porte Chapel

Sister Henson, Sister Gale and me!

Sister Wilmoth - the meal calendar lady ... love her!

My apartment door in La Porte

The Kloche guy who gave missionaries free food!

Sister Taylor who helped us with the missionary work!

My awesome Lei Sister Taylor gave me before leaving La Porte

Final picture with Sister Henson

New companion Sister Hatch

Huge Stakewide Service Project

Me helping tie a quilt


Monday, August 1, 2011

A fond farewell to La Porte ... She has been transferred!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Dear Mom,

Wow, well can you believe it! I left La Porte Texas! Sad Day! I love the people so much in La Porte and I really love the members and the people that we have been working with! We really had a lot of people come up in the last week and people to start teaching and it's sad my time came to an end in La Porte! But I knew it was time to leave! Boy can I just say how hard it was to say good bye to everyone! Man I cried buckets of tears but I got addresses to keep in touch and I took pictures and I hope that I get time today to send you some! I got a really pretty flower lei from Sister Taylor, the ward missionary that comes out with us! It's super cute and I want to keep it but I just don't know how to press or keep some of it, but I am sure I will find a way! There was a less active member that drove us to the temple on Tuesday to help us save miles and well, she bought me the new men’s Mormon Tabernacle cd. I don't know the name of it but I'm super excited because when I was in La Porte Elder Walker had that cd and I loved it, and well I got it! It was a surprise to me; when I came to say good bye she gave me the cd! I thought that was so sweet of her! But I just love La Porte! It was sad to say good bye to the Prigmores! I just love that family! But I know that we planned for me to come back so I can go sky diving!! I know right! Super fun I just can't wait! It's gonna be good! :) But it was neat to have the time to say good bye to everyone, well almost everyone, but the good thing is that I am now in Baytown and we do exchanges with La Porte, so in a couple weeks I can go back to La Porte and see some people that I couldn't see! Super cool uh! :)

Well I am now in Baytown, Texas! My new Address is:

305 West Baker Rd. Apt. #1215
Baytown, TX 77521

I am companions with Sister Sarah Hatch and she is from Utah … another Utah gal! LOL. I must say I am a little nervous because I have heard a few things but I am going in with an open heart and mind and we will see what happens, but I know if there are struggles I will turn to the Lord and He is really going to help me out so much! But I am excited for a new area! Even though I loved La Porte so much I think I was getting burned out. It's time for a new start, some new experiences and to meet new people and help them come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! So I am excited. I am going to come in this new area of Baytown and I will be open and outgoing and not shy and quiet like I have done with my last area's and I think I am ready to really go to work and do lots of work for the Lord before my time is up in a few months! I can't believe I only have 5 transfers left! That is super crazy! And so I know time is going to fly. I just might be here in Baytown for the rest of my mission or I might have one more area after this, who knows, the Lord only knows and I will go where ever He wants me to go!

We went to the temple this past Tuesday and can I just say I just love the temple so so so MUCH! It was such a wonderful blessing to go this last week and to really feel God's love for me! At the beginning of the session I was crying for a bit because the spirit was just bringing me so much peace and comfort and I just needed that! It was just so wonderful and do you know what else mom!!! President and Sister Crawford were there and that was such a blessing! It was super cute … Sister Crawford saw me and she just got so excited to see me and to give me such a big hug and that felt so good! I just love her! She is such a great person and she is just the best! It was so great to see President Crawford too! He is the coolest guy, even with his big bushy eye brows, but hey that is okay! He is just a sweet teddy bear and not a mean scary looking one! LOL! But it was a wonderful day.

I got some neat stuff at the store "This is the Place." I got some scriptures references to help me with Preach My Gospel and they are really cool! It's neat in lessons to teach and to use those scriptures! Its super fun the stuff I got! The less active member who drove us really enjoyed seeing the Temple; she can’t go inside but by just being there and having the time to read her scriptures out in the car and being near the temple she felt the spirit so that was really cool! I'm glad she could come with us! Sister Wilmoth is such a sweet lady; she has come really far and she bought some new scriptures that are big print so she can read and she is just excited to read them because she can see them better, so that is super cool! She even came to church a week ago so that was cool! I was so glad she came because I have been helping her since January and to finally see her come to church … can I just say wow! It was so cool! I love seeing people change when we take the time to help them read the scriptures and share with them the Gospel. Their lives change and it's the best! I am just loving it! And being in a new area and wondering who I am going to meet … it's going to be good!

Hmmm.... What else can I tell you? Oh the pictures! Can I just say I loved all the pictures you emailed me today mom from your visit the Melanie and her family! I can't believe all the cool stuff ya'll did! I am super sad I wasn't there but I know when I come home we will do fun stuff together. I can't believe how much people change! Everyone looks so different! It's just super crazy, but people change over time. It's like me teaching the Gospel; people change and it's so neat to watch the process and to see them realize the blessings that they are missing out on and to help them find it in their life … it's just so cool! Being a missionary is just a wonderful experience to have in my life because I am just learning and growing so much! I hope and pray that Kadie and Ella and Zaebyn and Rylee and the new little one that is coming into the family will have the desire to serve a mission because it's the best opportunity to have in your life; it's going to help prepare me for the future, I just know it is, even though some days it may not feel like it but I just know it will! :)

Well mom my time is running short and I have no time to send pictures. Sorry for the short letter but its transfer day and so it's super busy. But I love you and I will write to you soon! Thanks for the package! Thanks for all the love and the support, it truly helps me every day!

Love Sister Hawkins

This is a picture I posted a couple weeks ago of
Sister Hawkins and Sister Hatch during exchanges.