Monday, September 26, 2011

Reminisced with some dear friends from La Porte. TX

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hey Mom,

Oh my goodness, so much to tell and I just don't know where to begin ya know! Well I will start off with the General Womens’ Conference. I was kinda sad to read in your e-mail that you were too sick to go; the whole time I was thinking you were at the church watching it just like I was. But that is okay; at least you got to watch it later that night on the internet which made it all better. But man those talks were just so amazing and so powerful and I knew they were for me, but like everyone else says that the talks were for them as well! But I just loved all of them! I need you to send me copies of President Uchtdorf's talk and the other talks because they were so good, unless they come out in the Ensign when General Conference comes out! But they were just so powerful I just loved them and they just gave me so much sweet comfort!

Well here they did a dinner before the Womens Conference and it was in Eagle Springs, Texas and I knew some La Porte people were going to be there and yep they were. Mom it was so cool, we came in right before the blessing on the dinner started and after the prayer was over all the La Porte members came right over to me to give me a hug! I got to see Sister Mitchell, Sister Smith, Sister Berges, Sister Taylor, Sister Struthers and Sister Gale and lots more! I got to talk with Sister Mitchell and she is just so awesome and she and I just talked lots and I got to get some advice from her to help me out a bit! And then I got to talk to Sister Smith! Mom I love the Smiths so much! Do you know what she told me? They love me and miss me so much that when I get married they said they are gonna try to come to my wedding! No Jiving! It was so sweet. She told me that she and Brother Smith miss me so much and that they claim me to be one of their daughters. That was just so special and I told her I miss her blueberry pecan pancakes; she makes the best! Yummy! I got to see Sister Gale and she is doing awesome. She wrote me this last week and told me that she got a motorcycle. Man that made me jealous! I really want a motorcycle, they are super cool! Love them, that's my plan to go home and save for a bike! Well that’s all about the General Womens Broadcast! It's was lots of fun and I will always remember it!

Well I never told ya this, but down here in Texas "Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices" were putting on a fireside in Houston. She is a famous singer and she became a member of the church and she has been going around the world to do music and to bear testimony of the Gospel. Well I got the chance to go last night; the only way we got to go was with a non-member or with a very less-active member of the church. Sister Hatch and I got to go with our Ward Missionary Leader’s wife and her friend, Sister Shermann. She is really in-active and is going through a whole lot in her life and so we went with them! And mom it was so cool! I loved the spirit that was there. It wasn't like a normal fireside; it was all music and some people bearing testimony of the Gospel! She told of her conversion story and told how her kids were converted first before she was. It was just the coolest thing to experience on my mission! I can't believe all the experiences I am having on my mission; I got to go to NASA, I got to hear from an Apostle of the Lord, Elder Holland, and I got to go to this fireside. I have had surgery on my mission and been in a car accident … man so many things that I have totally learned so much from and I am truly grateful for all the experiences!

But I can't believe that I have only 20 weeks left! Don't worry mom, I am not counting down; I have a sister who is just excited to see me and tells me how many weeks that I have left! Pretty crazy uh! I just can't believe how time is flying by! Well I have an interview with the Mission President next week so we will see how that goes. He does interviews every couple transfers or so, so he can just have one on ones with the missionaries to make sure things are going okay!

Oh mom guess who got Baptized this last week?! Morris in La Porte! I couldn't go because it was not within a transfer and so the Sisters told me about it. It was this past Tuesday and all day that was all I thought about was Morris and praying that he would have a memorable baptism! I'm so happy that he got baptized and I hope that he will continue to learn and to grow so he can go to the Temple and be sealed to his wife for time and all eternity and do her work for her so she can have the same blessings as well! I remember teaching Morris and seeing how happy he would be to see us and seeing just how much he was growing closer and closer to the Lord each day and every time he went to church! I hope to do exchanges soon so I can go see him and others to see how they are coming along in the Gospel!

So I have been doing lots of studying in the mornings and just have been spiritually fed and it's been so great! I am in 2 Nephi and almost finished and I am just loving it! I am seeing new things and just understanding more of what it is saying! I love the Book of Mormon! I have grown to develop a love for it and I am going to keep that challenge that President Moldenhauer gave me to read the Book of Mormon three times a year! And I am going to do it because it's just a big blessing in my life! I love the words of the Prophets and how they testify of Jesus Christ and how they teach of His teachings and the Doctrine of Christ and how it talks about Him being crucified and doing the Atonement for us! I hope you and dad and the rest of the family are also reading and studying the Book of Mormon because it's really for us in this day to help us draw closer to Him and to understand His plan that He has for us! I know it to be true! I have been really loving reading the Ensign you sent me too! It's so amazing how the entire Ensign is dedicated to the Book of Mormon and how we need to read and apply it to our day and to have it be a comfort and guide to us! Mom I hope you and dad went and bought another Ensign so ya'll can read and study it for yourselves! It's so amazing! I have also been reading and studying the New Testament and wow it is so interesting the things that I am reading and learning about Jesus Christ’s life and all that He did for us and how He was such a great example of Charity and Love and how He just cared for a lot of people! I love the scriptures and the knowledge that I am learning and growing from reading and studying every week! I love the Gospel and I love being a Missionary for the Lord!

Oh before I forget! Karen (the deaf lady) is doing so well. We had to get a hold of the ASL Missionaries and they came to church on Sunday and it was so cool to watch them interpret for Karen and to see how happy she was! That just makes me want to learn Sign Language so bad and to be able to help the deaf people communicate with the world so people can understand them! And well we have a girl named Krystal who is going to help interpret for Karen on Sundays now and I have met her before. She sometimes goes to the Single's Branch and to other wards and she is a teenager, so I don't know how well this is gonna work out! But the ASL Missionaries left Krystal to interpret for Karen during Relief Society because they had to go and Krystal interpreted for like 30 minutes for them and then she had to go because I guess her dad came out of the Hospital so then I had to do the rest! And can I just say it was so hard to interpret because the lesson was on the Priesthoods in the church and to tell her and her friend Susie who came about the roles of the Priesthood, man that was so hard, but hey I did it! And I got to learn more signs that they taught me! But I can't wait to come home and to find schools that have deaf education and to be able to learn sign language and to interpret for the deaf! Super excited! So it's going to be fun to work with Karen and the ASL Missionaries to help her understand more about the gospel because she is a new member of one year so she still has lots to learn!

Well I need to run and write President Crawford and also to Sister Crawford because it's her birthday today! Well I love ya and thanks for all you do! Take care and have a great week and I hope I get to see you at General Conference like I did at the beginning of my mission! That would be pretty sweet if that does happened again so I can end my mission seeing my parents on TV again! :) Well I love ya and have fun in UTAH! And I will write ya'll soon!

Love Sister Hawkins

After reading Emily's letter today, I looked back in past blog postings to see if I could find pictures of the people she mentioned so I could be reminded of who they were.  I thought since I wanted to see them again, that maybe some of you would too so I decided to repost some of her pictures of the wonderful people she mentioned in this letter.  Enjoy!
Sister Mitchell (La Porte Relief Society President)

The Smiths

The Berges

Sister Taylor

Sister Struthers

Sister Gale

Monday, September 19, 2011

Many Tender Mercies this week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow what a week; it's like where do I start? There has been so much stuff going on both good times and hard times and I'm kind of actually surprised that I got through this week! Well we had a meeting this past week up in Eagle Springs Texas with the Stake President. His name is President Banks and he is a very bold, loving and up front kind of guy! We also had the Stake high council there as well as President Crawford. We discussed missionary work and how we can get the wards more involved and to be more excited to help us out and stuff! It was a really good meeting; I learned a lot about what I need to do better in my missionary work ethics! I also got to see Sister Henson and Sister Kinikini at the meeting and mom Sister Henson is doing so well, she has changed so much I can't believe how well she is doing. I can tell she still struggles a bit but I can see a change in her! I'm so proud of her! I hope I can still be near here before I go home to see how much more she has changed! I hope her family is seeing the change in her as well through the letters that she sends home! It's amazing what a mission can do for a person! I visited with Sister Kinikini and she is doing so good; she is just on fire doing the Lords work and is just so grateful to be back in La Porte. They told me that there are two baptisms happening and they are both with people that I have taught! I am so excited for them! It's just sad that I can't go back for the baptism because it's not within the last transfer; I wish I could go but Sister Henson and Sister Kinikini told me they are going to take pictures and send them to me so I can see these dear people all dressed in white on their special day!

Also at the church that same night as our meeting there was an activity going on for the Relief Society and President Banks told us to go in there and introduce ourselves to all the sisters and say “Hi” so everyone can get use to the missionaries! Well mom, guess who I saw??!!!!! I saw Monica! A wonderful lady that I love so much! Oh boy, when I saw her I just went up to her so fast and touched her shoulder and then she and I both screamed and everyone stopped talking to see what was going on! It was so good to see her! She is just the coolest person ever! She told me that she has stopped drinking coffee, has been going to church, is getting married to a LDS guy and that things are just working out for her so much! Mom the last 7 1/2 months that I was in La Porte I was so blessed to help out Monica and her two boys and I was there for them and my companions and I would go see her and encourage her to go to church and to stop drinking coffee and when I saw her at this meeting she was different; she was glowing and she was changed! A changed heart! She introduced me to her finance; a very nice guy named Lee and she introduced me to her sister-in-law. It was funny because the sister-in-law asked me if I knew Monica and I was like “Yeah!” and Monica told her sister-in-law that I was one of the missionaries that helped her get back on track and she said, “I just love this girl to death!” Monica told me she is getting married on October 22nd and that they are going to get sealed in the Temple next year! I'm just so excited for her! She told me I better be there next year when they get sealed! I told her, “Don't worry girl, I will be there!” So I am planning a trip next October to go to Texas which is good! Enough time for me to save money! It was so awesome!

Then something neat happened the next day during District Meetings. My new District Leader was giving a talk on “Changed Hearts” and he said, “Sister Hawkins, so tell us what happened last night.” At first I was so confused and then he said, “You know, the lady you were hugging and you both were like screaming and crying!” I said, “Oh, that's Monica.” I just started to cry and I felt the spirit so strong as I was talking about her. It was cool too because then Elder Tracy said that when he and some other Elders were leaving the meeting with the Stake President they heard Monica telling her finance Lee that she loved me so much for helping her get back to where she needed to be and that she couldn't have done it without me. Elder Tracy then asked me how I did it. I told him with lots of love and service and really relying on the Lord! The experience I had this past week with Monica was so cool and what a Tender Mercy from the Lord to be given the opportunity to see someone who I care so much for and to see how their life has changed and to see how their life is now! I know that we are called by a Prophet of God to go where we need to serve! And what a wonderful blessing to be a part of Monica's life and to help her come unto Jesus Christ!

So mom, you know I have restarted the Book of Mormon … and well I didn't have a focus on what to look for and so I just prayed that things would pop out for me to study and learn from and to highlight. Well you know how there have been problems between me and my companion and the stress of letting stuff go and my pride … well this whole time that I have been reading from The Book of Mormon, it's all about Pride and Humility! NO JIVING! I see things that can get ourselves wrapped up in pride and how our hearts are harden and how when we are just so angry we make “our will” the priority instead of having it be “God's will.” I have seen scriptures that just talk about Humility! It is just mind blowing what the Book of Mormon is showing me and teaching me about how I can change my ways and how I can turn to Christ to have Him help me soften my heart. But I also learn from the Book of Mormon that it's not easy and that it takes a lot of love, humility and trust in the Lord to have your heart be softened. It's like Laman and Lemuel; you read how many times that they are prideful and how they are so angry at their younger brother because they want to be the chosen one. Well I can tell you one thing … they were for sure chosen for something, and I know they didn't know it at the time, but they were chosen to show us how we can better ourselves and how we can humble ourselves unto Christ and how we need to not be so prideful about things that just don't go our way. I love how it shows that they see so many signs from God and an angel and then are shaken by God's power and how it's so real of what happened to them; but I love the part where Nephi is being so bold and loving to his brothers because of the spirit that is in him when he is telling them to humble themselves and to not touch him because what he knows is true and he can't deny it! It's in 1 Nephi 17:48. I just love the power that Nephi has … you should read 1 Nephi 17 … just a lot of power of what Nephi is teaching his brothers and how it makes you think of what miracles or wonders that God has done for you in this life and that we don't see it and we cover it with the pride of our hearts! Man I just love reading the Book of Mormon; it's just such a great powerful tool to have it in our lives!

Another experience I will share with you about the Book of Mormon happened last night. It had been a tough day because Sister Hatch and I were arguing like normal and then I had just got off the phone with the Zone Leaders as they had called to see how we were doing? Well I opened up the Book of Mormon and I read the words of what Jesus Christ said. it's in 2 Nephi 27:20-26!

20 Then shall the Lord God say unto him: The learned shall not read them, for they have rejected them, and I am able to do mine own work; wherefore thou shalt read the words which I shall give unto thee.
21 Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work.
22 Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up the book again, and hide it up unto me, that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.
23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith.
24 And again it shall come to pass that the Lord shall say unto him that shall read the words that shall be delivered him:
25 Forasmuch as this people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men—
26 Therefore, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise and learned shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent shall be hid.

Oh just powerful verses telling me so much! It reminded me that I need to do more studying and really turn to the Book of Mormon for answers just like I was told in a blessing a while ago. I was told to search the scriptures for answers and that experience last night just confirmed to me what I need to do because I was just sitting and wondering how I am going to get through this transfer and how am I going to lose my pride and how am I going to humble myself and learn to love my companion and to serve her so I can get back on track of doing the Lords work … well right there it is telling me to open my scriptures and apply the stories to myself and I will be able to do the things the Lord wants me to do! Amazing isn’t it, how the Lord answers your mini prayers! The Lord loves us no matter what is happening in our lives. He is always there! I know He is!

Well I hope you enjoy this letter as much as I enjoyed writing it today! Man it feels like I couldn't type fast enough to tell you about the wonderful things that I have been experiencing and to tell you about the blessings from the scriptures! Oh yeah guess what? I am reading from the New Testament and I just finished Matthew! I have never read the Bible all the way through, just parts here and there growing up! And man I am learning so much about the Savior and His miracles that He performed and how it talks about authority in the New Testament and it is just so amazing and very powerful what I am learning about my Savior Jesus Christ and how I feel like I am growing closer to Him every day! I love the Gospel with all my heart. I love being a missionary and how it's changing me every day! I know I am on my road of Gethsemane right now with the challenges that I am facing but I know God and my Savior is there. I know that I can get through these challenges even when I want to give up! I love being a missionary. I love how I am changing everyday and I love that we can study from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel and how it's helping my relationship grow so much! This church is so true!

Oh one more cool thing to tell ya … this last week was so awesome. One night we were coming in and this lady was waving us down to talk to us. When she got to us I noticed that she couldn't talk and she was signing and that she was deaf. I signed to her to tell her I know some sign language but not much and we started talking. We found out she is a recent convert from last year. She got baptized and she moved back here to Baytown. She knew Sister Hatch a little bit and her name is Karen. She is friends with some people who are in our ward who are partially deaf! She showed us where she lives in our apartment complex and we signed for a bit and set a return appointment for the next morning! So the next morning we went to go see her and she was helping me to sign and it was so much fun to sign back and forth and so I am learning more sign language. She was supposed to go to church yesterday but she got sick and she wants me to interpret for her at church. Well I told her I would do my best and also told her that we have members who can sign. There is this one lady but she is due to have a baby so she won’t be able to help much and then there is a girl but she is too busy and she hardly comes and plus I think that she goes to the Singles Branch. So next Sunday will be interesting! So now when I get any free time I am looking at the books Melanie and you have sent me! So I am super excited to be able to learn more signing and to help out Karen to be able to go to church. There is a deaf ward in Houston but she can’t drive and doesn't have a car to go but I hope that God will bless her to go somehow so she can learn more of Him and be around people who are members who are deaf … but we will see how things will go! But I'm so excited that I have met Karen this week … so please pray for me that I can learn and to be able to interpret a bit at church for Karen!

Well time is running short and I got to go e-mail President and get going! Lots to do today; we need to go shopping and then are going to see a member and get some cool stuff from Avon that she is giving to us! So hopefully today will be fun! Well I love you and thanks for the love and the support! I know the Lord is going to help me some way! The Lord always has a plan for us to succeed and to be happy! Oh mom can you send me copies of the pumpkin cake recipe and your yummy crock pot chicken and potatoes and also you potato salad recipe? Some members want some new ideas for cooking so that would be great if you can do that for me! I love you mom! Have a great week!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Reposting of a picture
taken March 2011 in La Porte
Sister Singleton, Sister Hawkins and Monica

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

This week is just going to be pictures from Emily. She wrote me an email but nothing really for the blog. Unfortunately she is really struggling right now. I think every missionary has at least one companion they don’t seem to mesh with and that is what is happening with Emily. She is trying to remain positive and trust in her Heavenly Father that they will somehow be able to make this work. Transfers were today and she was really hoping there would be a switch but it did not happen. She figures she has not learned what she needed to learn yet and she needs to be humbled.

She is turning to the Lord, the Priesthood, her Mission President and the scriptures. Shortly after finding out she was going to be with her companion another six weeks and feeling discouraged, she wrote in her journal some of her feelings and then felt impressed to read her scriptures and found a scripture that she said just “pierced her heart so much!!” The scripture is found in 1 Nephi 9:6 and it said”

"But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning: wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fufilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen."

After sharing this scripture with me she wrote: “I just felt the Spirit and that God does know and He is somehow preparing that path for me and I just have to be willing to bear the burdens and the sorrows that I have now on my mission to be able to overcome all these things! And this is so hard, it's so hard to keep pressing forward but somehow and in some way I am going to get through this. The Lord has provided a way for me to come this far and to have many experiences and trials; I know there is more for me to learn and I am gonna make it.”

Please keep Emily and her companion in your prayers. There is a great work to be done in Baytown and that is truly what Emily wants to be doing is serving the Lord.

Enjoy her pictures.

Zone P-Day

Cool sunglasses and hat - Zone P-Day

Those in our zone who had served in
La Porte, Deer Park, and Passadena

Entire Zone except the actual Zone Leaders

Sister Hawkins and Elder Marlar (district leader)

Meatloaf -- the Texas way!

Hermna Rivera and Sister Hawkins
(Worked together during an exchange)

Washing Sister Schambergers dog!

All done!

Baytown District

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Time going by too fast!!

Monday, September 6, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wowzer! What a busy week I have had with so many crazy, but yet, “full of great learning” meetings! I have learned so much this past week in meetings! Well things are for sure changing in the mission! It's crazy how much change can really help you along in the work and energize you! Because Sister Crawford loves us so much, she has put us all on diets! For real! She has given us a grocery list and has given us advice of what we need to do to become more energized and not feel so tired! It's awesome! I must say, I have truly seen a big difference these last few days! She addressed us this past week at Zone Conference and so the whole mission is doing the President's Challenge! We have to be obedient and go to bed on time at 10:30 p.m. and that does not mean saying our prayers at 10:30 p.m., but actually be in bed and under the covers. We then are to wake up at 6:30 a.m. in the morning, hurry and get dressed, say our prayers and then go running or walking! It has to be one of those two things! And we are supposed to tell our District Leaders every night if we have done that! So yeah, and we are supposed to eat healthy at breakfast and lunch and be wise at members homes and not eat too much! So ya and at the end of this challenge we will all get BLUEBELL ICE CREAM!!!!!! K so the story of Bluebell Ice Cream is that it is so, so, so good! Better than anything back home. But we are doing this President's Challenge as Zones so whichever zone gets the highest points wins a pint of Bluebell!!! Yeah, pretty excited I must say! Well I myself have been doing well and truly have been blessed where I am not sleepy in the morning during studies and I am wide awake! And it's so cool; I can run for the entire time we are doing exercise, just like I did back home! So hopefully with me getting into this habit again I will lose some of the weight that I have gained in Texas! Every missionary in Texas gains weight so President and Sister Crawford are trying to help us learn good eating habits and to be healthy on our missions! So that is pretty sweet! I must say!

Well something else triggered me at Zone Conference … at each Zone Conference we have the missionaries that are leaving bear their testimonies and share their feelings about their mission. It is always so very touching listening to their testimonies! Well when they were bearing there testimonies this past conference, man the spirit really hit me hard realizing that I have only 6 months left; that's all I have and it struck me so hard that my time is running out and that is just so sad! Remember at the beginning of my mission when I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could just say I did it with the Lord and he helped me through it! I was like counting months and days and stuff like that. Well I have been just so busy and had to deal with being sick and then I have been doing lots of teaching that time is just flying by! I have 6 months left! That is just so crazy; that is like when I was with Sister Smith. She had that amount of time left and then I turn around and she went home and now that is going to be happening to me! I am not ready to go home! There is so much work to do and so much I still have to learn that I just don't want the time to come! Maybe I will talk to President Crawford about extending for another transfer! I hope ya'll won’t mind. But extending on missions is so rare now, they hardly ever do it! But wouldn't that be so cool!?! Mom, I am not ready to accept that my time is running out! But I have six months and I am going to try to do my very best and work so hard so I can become even more like my Savior Jesus Christ! I hope these next six months don't go by super fast!

Well things in Baytown have been good; the work is still slow but I know the Lord is preparing those brothers and sisters of ours to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's going to be so awesome when that time comes to be teaching a lot of people! I had a cool experience on exchanges this week; I got to do exchanges with a Spanish Sister! Pretty sweet I must say, and Sister Hatch went into Spanish land! But Hermana Rivera, (Hermana means Sister in Spanish) and I went to see this less active lady and she hasn't been to church in a long time! We were at her house talking with her … well let me rephrase that … she was doing all the talking. When it came time when we needed to go she started opening up with us about why she hasn't been going to church. She told us she doesn't go because she is out of the habit and that she feels like she doesn't know the ward very well, and plus she has been sick and dealing with back problems and having surgeries for her back. I was praying for an opportunity to testify to her about coming to church and wanting to help her feel the spirit; well guess what … that time came! Oh man the spirit was so, so strong. I bore witness that if she would make the step and effort to come to church that the Lord would bless her to get better and that she wouldn’t be in so much pain and that he would provide a way for her! She was crying. Then she quickly said, “Well I can't go tomorrow but we will see about next week.” Then Hermana Rivera testified as well and said that the things I told her were true. She then told her we needed to get going and would like to say a prayer. I said the prayer. I prayed that the Lord would help her and provide a way for her to get better and that he would help her get through her family struggles and blessed her with strength! Then we left … we always try to leave when there has been very spiritual experience so they can notice the difference when we are there and are not there and hope they will want that feeling always! When we got into the car, Hermana Rivera said, “Wow that was so awesome. The spirit was so strong when you were testifying.” I said a little prayer to thank my Heavenly Father for that neat experience I had! Very cool I must say!

Also something else happened this past week that was really awesome! I finished reading the Book of Mormon again! My third time on my mission! How cool and neat is that! I just love the Book of Mormon. After I was done reading it I tried something new that I had learned from my last area from Elder Walker when he taught from a talk by President Henry B Eyring … that every time you finish the Book of Mormon, always ask to know it's true and to have that spirit testify to you it's true. Well I did that on Saturday morning and I prayed and waited and well nothing! I was hoping for a warm spirit inside and goose bumps or for me to start to cry because of the spirit! But nothing. Well during our companion study with Hermana Rivera she shared some scriptures with me, and they were 2 Nephi 4:15, 16,19, 20, 23, 24, 26, 29 …

15 And upon these I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.

16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.

19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.

24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.

26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

… and I was feeling the spirit so, so strong! And it was bearing witness to me that the Book of Mormon is true, and it is! It's another testimony of Jesus Christ and we have it in our day to help us with our trials and our hardships and it's so awesome! I love reading the Book of Mormon! My goal is to finish it again before the year is out and then try to read it again before I come home! That is my goal because I want to learn all that I can as a missionary reading the Book of Mormon! Something I learned from President Pomeroy, a counselor to President Crawford, is that no matter how many times you read the Book of Mormon it will always teach you something new! All the time! President Pomeroy was an institute teacher for 35 years and at zone conference he told us missionaries that he studies every day like we do and he still learns something new and finds something that didn't catch his eye before and who knows how many times President Pomeroy has read the scriptures; only God knows that. It's just cool and there are powerful tools that are in the Book of Mormon! I know it to be true! It TESTIFIES! It is the word of God and it was restored for us, for our learning and for our knowledge so we can become more like our loving Savior Jesus Christ! It's true. I will never ever reject the truthfulliness of the Book of Mormon! Such a powerful book!

Well one more week till transfers and wow this transfer has been so slow with all the struggles of a new area and new District and with a new companion. It's tough, but what can I say, you learn the best through the trials the Lord gives ya, and boy I have learned a lot this transfer … to have patience (even though I must say I have exploded a couple of times) and I have learned understanding and lots of humility and love … but I must say, I am still working on all these Christ-Like attributes because I am not perfect but I can do my best to perfect them! I love my Savior so dearly and I am learning more of him every day and becoming closer to my Heavenly Father through my many prayers to get through the trials I have as a missionary! The Gospel is TRUE! It's here for us to become more like our Savior and to prepare ourselves to meet God. We need to take this time on earth to learn all we can and take the trials and learn from them and love them and accept them and thank God for our trials!

Well I love you mom and the family! I miss ya'll like crazy! I am still trying to do my best! But always know the Lord is the way through any trial! Have a good week! I hope to hear from you soon! Love you!

Love Sister Hawkins!