Monday, October 31, 2011

Another week of Service!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Hi Mom,

Well where do I begin to tell you about my week? I have been sick for the past week and a half with a nasty cough, cold , runny nose and really sore throat! It hasn't been fun being sick on the mission but you still got to go work hard and serve the Lord no matter what! This week Sister Higley and I have been working hard in the apartment trying to figure out Baytown; it's kinda not organized well and so we like color coordinated stuff and we got new updated maps and we are looking through the area book and we have been really busy doing that! It's helping me to better understand the area because I feel bad, I still really struggle a lot to know who to see and who to go and teach and it's been hard. In my past areas I knew who to go see and who we could try… well not in Baytown! Baytown has been one of my hardest areas that I have had!

Besides organizing the area we have also been doing lots of service for members in the ward which has been fun in so many ways! The first service we did this week was helping Sister Schaumburger clean her garage which is such a work in process. And to make it worse, she has been dealing with mice lately! No lie! So we helped her set up traps. We had to hide the traps because she has two small dogs that live with her! So we were out organizing and cleaning the garage when I went into a box and guess what popped out and scared the crap out of me??!! A MOUSE!!!! And boy that sucker was super close to my hand and really scared me to death and I screamed! Of course it scared poor Sister Schaumburger. Sister Higley said, “Are you scared of a mouse!” I was like, “Yeah!” It creeped me out! Well then Sister Higley got Sister Schaumburger’s cat and brought it into the garage and then we dumped the box over. That was a huge success … not …the mouse got away and the cat was not even interested in the mouse! But oh well! I was really observant after that because I didn't want to get bit by a mouse or even touch a mouse! So that was one service!

The second service was working at the Cookie Jar! And it's like the DI store back home! We got to organize cloths, sweep the floors and dust stuff! So that was fun because we had all of our new District there so we got to know each other better! After the service project we went out to eat and FreeBirds! It's a great big burrito place that ya'll have got to try! It's super yummy! Love it! Big burritos! No Jiving!

Well I saved the best service for last … we got to destruct a house … for real! Sister Higley, Elder Tracy, Elder Taney and I got to help the Mortons tear out a floor in their house! For reals, it was fun!!! At first the Elders were doing the actual tearing up of the floor and Sister Higley and I would grab all the old wood and take it to the truck! Well then the Elders and Brother Morton left to take a load to the dump and we stayed behind at the house! I wanted to try to tear out the floor so I got down and got to work and man that was so much fun! And when the boys got back Brother Morton thought it was his son who had stopped by to say hi and was doing some work but when he came in a saw me he was like, “Wow you can really destruct stuff! Well it was funny, the Elders just stood back and watched while I was having so much fun pulling up the floor and just doing heavy duty men work! But it was so much fun! I loved it! We are going to go back and do more destruction to their home in three or four weeks! Super sweet I say! I had so much fun! But now I am totally paying for all that hard labor …let’s just say I am a little sore! But it was super fun! Oh and we also got to see their really big "Wolf" dog … no lie, it’s a real wolf and it's the nicest dog ever! And so I got a picture with it! I don't think the picture does it justice of just how big the dog really is! It's big! Biggest dog I have ever seen! Super crazy!

Working hard ... having fun!

Elders Tracy and Taney

Feeling great accomplishment!

Big Wolf Dog!

Well today is Halloween and so tonight we are having dinner at a member’s home and then we are going to go to Brother Stones home to see his crazy house! He loves the holidays and always does his house crazy I believe! So I am excited to see it tonight. I hope that it won’t scare me too much! But it's gonna be fun! It's funny, Brother Stone scares people and I'm like, “You better not scare me.” But I am pretty sure I'm gonna get scared! I always jump at everything!

Later on tonight I get to do exchanges with La Porte! I'm so excited! It's gonna be fun! Gonna see some great people from the place where I love dearly! I'll for sure write ya all about it next week! I am also looking forward to “Sister Training” this week! I bet it's gonna be good! I know the last one we had was lots of fun so we will see!

So mom this last week was really exciting because I got to see Sign Language with the ASL Elders and every time they teach a lesson it's so good! And I really understand it so much! I can't believe how much I have learned! I was talking with Sister Gentry who interprets for Karen during Sacrament meeting and she said I was at a level 2 which is so cool! I can't believe I'm a level 2 with all the things I have learned! The Elders gave Karen the ASL Book of Mormon DVD just like what Melanie has on VHS and man I was so jealous! I told Karen she was lucky to have that! I was thinking if I had that then I could learn Sign Language faster right! Well I was pretty sad after we left because I really want one so bad! To watch and hopefully learn new Sign Language right! Well it was weird, Thursday night I was impressed to look on our shelves to see if we had a ASL DVD but I didn't because I just knew it wasn't that but just a different Book of Mormon thing to listen too ya know! Well Friday night I was thinking about it again and felt like I should go look! So I decided to go look and guess what!!!!!! We had one of the Book of Mormon ASL DVDs in our apartment and oh man I was so excited and just couldn't wait for morning studies so I could watch the Book of Mormon in Sign Language! So when I study, I read the verse and then watched it on the DVD and try to figure out what they were signing and some things I could catch and other things I couldn't! So that was pretty cool! And so mom ha ha, I was thinking since it's my birthday coming up … maybe ya'll can get that for me for my birthday and also the Book of Mormon stories in Sign Language too! Or maybe even a CTR ring that is Sign Language and my size is 8.5! Just a heads up what I would like! :) Lol, but if ya'll can't, it's okay, I will wait to get it when I come home! I can watch it because in our apartment we have a portable DVD player for other DVDs we watch as missionaries so that's why I am asking ya for those things!

Well my Doctrine and Covenants reading has been really awesome! I am learning so much from reading and I am learning more about the Gospel! I also really like reading in the New Testament about Jesus Christ! It's neat what the scriptures can teach us and how they can give us direction in life! Super awesome! So mom, keep it up and still follow along because it's the best!

Well I'm gonna get going now so I can send pictures and write to President Crawford! Well I hope ya'll have a good week and thanks for the fun crazy pictures … that's pretty fun stuff ya'll did for Halloween! Our ward had a Halloween party too so I took some pictures that I will send ya'll. Have a great week! Love ya lots! And thanks for my super cute Halloween Package! I got it all dented up! Super crazy the Post Office people just don't like my packages! LOL! Love ya

Love Sister Hawkins

Baytown Ward Halloween Party!

Elder Tracy and Taney
(Elder Tracy got these crazy ties for
his birthday which was October 29th)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Still in Baytown ... New Companion!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hi Mom,

I'm glad you liked your gift! I'm glad it got there safely! I was worried it might break! But mom did you notice that the face follows you! So when you go home look at Him and walk sideways and Jesus’ face will follow you! It's so cool! I am going to get another one for me to have in my home to remember my mission! But I wanted to get you one to have so you can also remember my mission! :) I'm glad you liked it! :) I got it at the store of the Walters shipping place; a lady makes them and sells them! They are so cool! There was a tan one and a blue one and then your white one! I knew you would like the white one! I love where you put it! I was wondering where you were gonna put it but I'm glad you found a spot for it! I love the pictures on the piano of Zaebyn and the girls! Man they keep getting so big! I really do miss them!

It was really hard to get a picture without a flash ...
this really does not do it's beauty justice ... I will treasure this forever

Well mom I didn't get transferred! Sister Hatch did though and I have a new companion! Sister Angela Higley. She is from Missouri and she came out when Sister Henson came out! She is nice and I told her we have lots of work to do in Baytown and that they need missionary love and we are gonna be busy this transfer so she is excited to get to work! Sister Kinikini got transferred and Sister Henson stayed in La Porte so she is doing the same as I did and staying there for 5 transfers. But the cool thing is that Sister Kinikini is training again and flushing an area! She is so strong! I love her dearly, such a great friend! I tell her she is going to be my maid of honor in my future wedding! We just keep getting close as friends on our missions! We call each other when we are going through a tough time and we just know when each other is struggling! She is the best mom!

Final pose with Sister Hatch

New companion, Sister Higley

Well this last week was pretty slow and I was thinking I was going to get transferred because of what President Crawford said in my last interview but I stayed! I'm glad I did. I now get to work with Karen more and also help the Greenawalts to come closer to the Gospel and to build this ward up and have everyone excited about the Gospel and Missionary work! I kinda feel like my work isn’t done in Baytown and there is part of me that feels like I will end my mission in Baytown and then another part feels like I might have one more area before the time comes for me to go home! But I guess in time we will see! It's all in the Lords hands!

Well this week we had Family Home Evening at the Greenawalts home. When it gets dark outside they have animals like raccoons and possums that come and eat the food they have left out on their porch for them! We got to see them eat I tried to get a good picture but it's kinda blurry. I will try again to get a picture next time if we ever see the wild animals again! We are working with Sister Greenawalt and trying to help her stop smoking! There is a program that we are gonna be teaching her to help her. The Church put out this program and it really works so I'm excited to work with her some more. We taught her about faith and to have faith in herself and God that she can overcome this and she will through the Lord’s hands! He will help her if she turns towards Him! I truly believe that!


Well this week we went to see Karen and the Ward Missionary Leader, Brother Stone, came along and we got to teach Karen more! I sent you a picture of us and the Elders with Karen. Elder Fredrickson, who is standing by me in the picture, was on exchanges that day so he isn’t usually the other Elder that teaches her, but it was a great lesson! Karen is just progressing wonderfully and she is just so willing to learn more and she is just so patient with me learning sign language! I love seeing the Elders teach her using sign language! It's so much fun! There is just a wonderful Spirit in the home! It's so much fun to watch and learn from the ASL Missionaries and see their teaching skills even though they don't speak! But it's so neat! I learn so much from them of how well they teach simply and testify as they teach! Very Powerful! Karen and Tammie and the family are excited to have me stay in Baytown so I can continue to come and visit with them and help them more in the Gospel! Sister Higley thinks it's awesome we go over there and she said she is willing to learn sign language too so she can communicate with Karen and them! So that just made my day when I heard that! So it's so awesome! I love the Language!

Elder Fredrickson, Me, Karen, Sister Hatch, Elder Macky and Tammie

We had Stake Conference this weekend and in one of the talks it mention about going to the temple and talked about how deaf people also go and do the work of the Lord and how beautiful it is to see sign language in the temple and even all languages. Karen and Tammie's faces lit up when they heard that in Stake Conference! I'm so grateful for Sister Gentry who does the interpreting for Sacrament meeting! She is so awesome and willing to help out! I really depend on her a lot. We are going over this week and are going to study some signs! I'm so excited! I think it’s gonna be so great with Sister Higley and I think we are going to see great things and lots of love in the ward! It's going to be good!

Well Friday was our last District Meeting with all the missionaries in the area before transfers. We had fun and got some silly pictures as you can see. The missionaries are just super crazy! You just got to Love Missionaries! It was a good meeting and I learned a lot! I realized that I need to really understand My Purpose as a Missionary better, and the only way is through the Lord and my studies and my willingness to work super hard! Time is running short and so there is a lot to do but I know the Lord is gonna help me out and help me become more like Him!

District before transfers

Our district with the Spanish district

Being Silly!

Well my reading is coming along great; I'm kinda behind on the mission reading and even my Doctrine and Covenants because I am trying to memorize 25 scriptures that my Mission President wants us to have memorized! I'm working hard on that and not reading quite as much, but I do try to read when I can! The memorizing has been cool! I have just felt the Spirit when I am memorizing the scriptures because I begin to feel so close to Him and have more understanding from those 25 scriptures! So it's gonna be cool when I have them all memorized! It shouldn't take me too long if I just take the time to do them and I will have them down in no time!

Well I hope you enjoyed this letter! I bet I will have more for ya next week mom! But I love ya and thanks for the pictures, they are awesome! I hope you have a great week! I love ya!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Getting ready to go for a run ... getting nippy in the early morning!

Beautiful clouds on transfer morning!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Learning Sign Language!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hey Mom,

Wow lots to write to you about this week! Well it's been an okay week but it could have been better! But I did get to go to the temple and that was so much fun! Brother Stone took us Missionaries to help save on miles which was totally awesome and it was fun in his big van. I need to get a picture of his big van! It can hold up to 10 people and you just have lots of room to move around and not feel so crowded! It was so nice to go to the temple! As you can see in the pictures Sister Smith from La Porte drove the La Porte missionaries to the temple to help them save miles and also I think so she could see me! LOL! The Smiths are so much like family mom; I love them so much! I can't wait for you to see the Smith family! They are just the best! Love them! I got some pictures of the other missionaries too and that was fun! Well guess what? President and Sister Crawford went to our session and guess who sat by me and Sister Smith! Yep, Sister Crawford, which was really awesome! Loved it! And it was so cute because Sister Smith made sure she sat by me which was the best! It reminded me of you and me mom and of the times we would go to the temple! For some reason mom it really felt like you were right there with me this last Tuesday which was a real blessing because I miss my family and friends and home! So it was really good to feel the comfort!

I felt so much comfort in the Celestial Room! I was praying and when I was done Sister Kinikini showed me a scripture that just answered my prayers so much and I was just balling and I felt bad because Sister Smith was concerned about me and also President and Sister Crawford! They just saw me crying so much! It's just been so hard and just to feel love and the Spirit just made me ball! It was so wonderful! I love the Temple! I will always love the beautifulness of it and the Spirit that is inside and the joy you get when doing the Lords work! I'm so grateful that as missionaries we can do work for the Lord on our missions!

Well this last week we have been working hard with the Greenawalt family! Sister Greenawalt is progressing! She is really doing well mom, but she is having a little hard time praying and I think it's because she knows she will get her answer to her prayer and I think that she is just not ready to change yet, but in time the Lord will help her along! And Brother Greenawalt is just awesome and it’s just great how he is trying to help out his wife and how he wants to make his family stronger! They came to Church which was great but unfortunately they missed a lot of Sacrament because they were in the foyer with their small kids. Sister Greenawalt is pregnant also so she didn't stay for the rest of the church meetings because she was tired and plus she wants to take it easy! So it's going to be a slow process but the Lord is really going to be helping her!

Well mom I sent you some pictures of food; I think I already told you about eating dove right?! Well that was kinda good but very different! And then you saw the picture of the squirrel meat! Yep I have eaten squirrel on my mission! That is a Texas thing to do and that is common down here in Texas! And it's kinda weird to be driving around and seeing squirrels and knowing that I ate one of their friends or family members! Some of it was kinda tough to eat as there are a lot of bones so you have to be careful when you eat Squirrel! But it was fun that I got to try it! It was at Sister Schambergers house where we tried both meats! Next is alligator! For real! So excited, everyone says it taste like chicken! So we will see what it tastes like! I know that this stuff isn’t good for my stomach, but hey when are ya ever gonna have this opportunity to eat this stuff! Lol!

Well mom this last week was super cool with Karen! The ASL Missionaries were teaching her the first lesson and I had a prayer in my heart that I could understand what they were signing because I want to know what they are saying and telling Karen! And mom my prayers were answered! I learned and understood everything they were signing and that was so cool!! I loved being there! And it's funny, one of the Elders is partially deaf and I could tell he wasn't impressed with me and just thought I was there to waste time instead of be out working but when he saw me this last week, he was like, “You really do want to learn Sign Language and you really care!” And I was like, “Ya I really do want to learn! It's the coolest language ever to know in life!” So I think I won over this Elder to have him realize I'm not there just to waste time and not work but that I want to help Karen understand more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and plus I need to be around Sign Language because every Sunday I have to interpret for Karen. There is a lady in the ward, Sister Gentry and she interprets for Sacrament, even though sometimes she is late, but for the classes I have to interpret for Karen. And let me tell ya, it's super hard and I just keep praying that I can learn and remember everything that I am studying. I won’t get much study time this week because Sister Gentry is using the Church ASL Book so she can learn church signs to interpret better at church. I wish I could get her one but I can't. (I am working on sending another book to Emily) But it's been fun getting to know more sign language as well as getting to know more members who know sign language. Sister Gentry wants us now to come to her home to help each other learn more sign language which I am excited about so it's gonna be super fun! :) But Karen is doing well and she is progressing and it's been so much fun helping her to learn and grow in the Gospel. I love how patient she is with me because I don't know a lot of signs, but she helps me a lot! Sister Gentry says that is good that Karen has accepted me and is willing to help me because she said some deaf people will accept ya and some don't want to take that time to do that and help ya learn more! So it's interesting and lots of fun!

Well I have one more week till transfer calls on Saturday night and we will see what happens! It will be sad if I go because then I will be leaving Karen and the other families that I am starting to be connected too! I think there is a lot of work to do here and I think Sister Hatch is tired of this area and needs a new start as she has been here for 8 months! But it's in the Lord's hands and he knows where I need to be serving! I just hope and pray that things will get better because I will admit, it hasn't been easy lately and I have been feeling really alone! This morning was really hard for me because I feel I'm not connected with the District and I'm not doing well with my companion. So it's been hard but I am learning lots. I have been doing my Doctrine and Covenants Countdown (when you have 138 days left on your mission you start to read one section every day and by the time your mission is done, you will have read the entire Doctrine and Covenants), lots of missionaries do this. Well I read Doctrine and Convents 3-5 today and boy, it hit me hard and there were answers that I received and it seemed like those sections were made just for me! The Lord really knows us and can really answer our prayers! Those sections made me realize the things that I need to do and work on! And there is a lot! I'm grateful for the Scriptures and the knowledge that I am getting from them! So very bless and excited we have the wonderful Scriptures that help us and gives us the comfort that we need!

Well mom I am sending you an early Christmas Present and its super fragile! And it's your choice to open it now or to wait for Christmas! I couldn't store it with me until the holidays, but I saw it and I loved it and it's a Texas thing to have in the home and I think you will love it! But let me know what you decide to do, whether to open it now or wait until Christmas time! But when I saw it, I just knew I had to get you one! I love it!!!!!!!! And I hope you do too! So let me know when you get the package because it's getting sent to your work because I don't want it out front of our home because it's too important to get stolen and I sure hope it doesn't get broken when it gets sent! I'm sending it through the Walters mailing business and they say they are the best wrappers! So I hope it gets to you in one piece and not broken! :)

Well mom I hope you enjoy all the pictures I have taken lately and I hope you have a good week ahead of ya! And thanks for the love and the letters and e-mails they just help me out so much! I love you mom! Well got to go write to President!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Sister Hawkins, Sister Rankin and Sister Hatch
(This sweet sister passed away a few weeks ago and I am so grateful
for the opportunity I had to get to know her.  She was a wonderful lady
with a strong testimony.  She loved the missionaries and we loved her.
I was blessed to attend her funeral and learn more about her.)

Sister Rankin --- I will miss her!

Zone P-day

My basketball team during Zone P-day

Thought I would try curling my hair!

Next morning!

Within 15 minutes it was flat --- gotta love the humidity!

Large chalk picture that was on a wall at the church
where we met for a zone conference --- kind of cool!

Me, Sister Henson and Hermna Cheynee

Elder Warren and my best friend, Sister Kinikini!

Mocking Bird -- they are so weird and annoying!

Fun "Exchange Day" -- me with Sister Henson
and Sister Hatch with Sister Kinkini

This is Morris -- I taught him in La Porte and he was recently baptized!
I visited him when I went back to La Porte on exchanges.

Scheffer Family from La Porte

I ate Squirrel!!!!

Squirrel ribs and a lead bullet that killed the squirrel!!

Sister Schamberger -- she feeds us dove, squirrel and soon alligator!
She loves me like a granddaughter -- I call her Meme (that's a Texas thing!)

Karen and me
(This is the deaf lady I am working with -- just love her!)

The Greenawalt kids -- the family that we are working with!

Mission Zone at the temple this past Tuesday

Me and Sister Smith outside the temple - my La Porte Mom!

Maria Martinez and her husband
He is taking the lessons from the Spanish missionaries

Brother Ammron Stone -- Ward Mission Leader who drove
us all to the temple in his big van!

Sister Saile -- she makes great lemonade!

Maria Martinez's daughter - she is moving to Germany with her husband.
She is so much fun!

We got a brand new car this week and hit 101 miles!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Working with a new family!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hi Mom,

Well not much time on the computer today as I had to e-mail some pictures for the Christmas video. I put one of Lauro's baptism and then one of me and Sister Singleton in our biking helmets so it's going to be sweet! Well seems like I have lots to tell you in the little time that I have left on the computer. This week has been really long but it's all good. I have learned lots about relying on the Lord and having Him be my best friend and that things happen for a reason!

This past week we met a really cool part-member family and they are the Greenwalts and they are just so awesome! Love them! They have an 18 month old, a 7 month old and one on the way. Brother Greenwalt has been a member since he was 19 but he left the church a long time ago and hasn't been back since. His brother is a member as well and is active and has been telling Brother Greenwalt to get back to church for his family and for himself. We got the referral from the Bishop to go see them and he got the referral from Brother Greenwalt’s brother! So we went to go see them and things have been going really good. Sister Greenwalt is not a member and is Baptists but she wants to know about our church and have us teach her and answer her questions which is so awesome! We did a church tour with them and well the Church tour didn't go so well just because of having small kids but I know that they felt the Spirit in the Church and that's so important! So tonight we are going to their home for dinner and then I came up with an idea for an activity to do with the kids; we are going to use paint and paint our feet and put it on paper and talk about how important it is to follow the prophet! Fun Family Home Evening don’t you think! So excited! Brother Greenwalt asked us to help his family to start Family Home Evening so I jumped right to it and said “Okay, well this coming Monday let’s do it and not wait a minute longer!” So that's what we are doing tonight! They were supposed to come to church yesterday but, sad day, they didn't come and I was sad because I really wanted Sister Greenwalt to come so she could hear the testimonies! They were really powerful and just so amazing! But we will see tonight why they didn't come yesterday! But I'm so excited for this family! Our goal is to see them twice a week to help them come unto Christ and to feel the Spirit and to have them build a relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. I am so, so excited!!!!

I got to interpret for Church yesterday at the beginning of our Sacrament meeting until a member came to interpret! Then this member had to go to primary because she does the music and the primary program is coming soon so she couldn't miss primary yesterday! So for both classes I had to tell Karen what's up lol! And man that was so much fun! I just wish I knew more sign language!

Something else really cool is that we are going to be working with the ASL Missionaries to reteach Karen the lessons! How Cool!!! I can't wait; we start on Thursday! It's going to be so much fun! I love working with Karen and I love her dearly! I'm so thankful to be a part of her and her friend’s life. Her friend lives in the other ward and she is hard of hearing too! It’s fun being able to communicate with the deaf! The reason Karen has not been coming to church in the past was because no one could tell her what's going on but now we have a couple members who know sign language and so we can help her testimony grow so much stronger! Karen told the ASL missionaries she doesn't understand a whole lot about the gospel so she is still learning! But over time I know by working with her that it will all work out in the end! :) So it's going to be super awesome! Can't wait to learn more Sign Language and to help Karen out!

Well let’s see what else has been going on! Hmmm. Oh yeah, I got to go to La Porte!!!! I got to do exchanges with Sister Henson and that was lots of fun and I got to see some wonderful family members! They were so excited to see me again and I was so excited to see them! Super fun! I got to see Lauro and boy he was so excited; he just lit up when he saw me. He is doing good, but it's sad because he isn’t going to church much and he hasn't been reading like he should be so I really told him that he needs to continue to go to church and read and that the Lord is going to bless him so much! And it's sad because he missed General Conference too and I was pretty bummed out about that! But I told him that I would tell the Sisters to get him a November Ensign so he can read the talks because they are so important to read as well and to learn from them! I also got to see Sister Gale and Sister Mitchell and other great people in La Porte! Oh I also had lots and lots of fun with the Smiths mom! I got to have breakfast over at their home on Saturday and we had yummy blueberry pancakes! I got talking with Brother Smith about a sweet motorcycle he is going to be selling and he fixed it up all with new parts and is going to sell it. Well I told him I'm interested but I just got to figure out the money; so I have lots of work to do when I go home to save money for a bike! LOL! It's going to be red! Super Cute! So mom don't worry I'll be safe on the motorcycle! :) He even printed me a picture of the bike so I can put it on my planner! LOL! I'll copy it and send it to ya so you can see what it looks like!

Well mom I love you lots. I have to e-mail President Crawford and then get going! But oh yeah, I got Aunt Sarah's package! Luckily it was safe and no one had got into it! Thank goodness! But it was so awesome! I got Japanese candy and a cute shoe to hold pens and markers and candy and just lots of love and letters! It was so nice! I'm going to write them and to thank them for the cool package! All my family is the BEST!!!! Well I love you and have a good week and I will write to ya'll soon!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Loved Conference!!!!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Hey Mom,

Oh my goodness, where do I start to tell you about the things that have been going on and how I am just so excited for being a part of this amazing Gospel!

So Conference … sad day because I didn't see you on TV but I knew you were there and that the rest of the family was watching and that was just so wonderful and awesome!

The messages were just so amazing. The first two sessions I got to watch on TV with members. The first session was with a lady from Baytown First Ward and she loves all the missionaries. Her name is Arod and she is not in our ward but she wanted us to come watch General Conference with her because she was all alone in an assisted health place recovering from knee surgery! I just felt the spirit and so much peace the whole time and I am just loving the Gospel more and more! It was so wonderful! I love how they talked about the scriptures and about studying from all the Standard Works, which means all the scriptures we have. It was like an answer to my prayer because lately I have been reading from the New Testament and I was wondering if I should take time to do that when I can spend more time in The Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel! But now I know that it's all good and it's been a wonderful journey learning about Jesus Christ’s life and the things He did and went through for us. So mom, have you taken time to read from the Bible and learn more about Jesus Christ? And this question is just not to you but to the whole family! Do we really take the time to read from the other scriptures or is our focus so much on the Book of Mormon! Now don't get me wrong, I love the Book of Mormon, but like it was said in General Conference, we need to do our studies from the other scriptures too! So I encourage ya'll to do the same and encounter the Bible with the Book of Mormon reading that we do each day, that we may be spiritual fed through the words of Christ teachings!

The rest of Conference was so amazing and I was so spiritually fed. The second session I got to watch with a member named Sister Schamburger. I call her Meme and she loves the missionaries a lot and we ate DOVE for Lunch! NO Jiving! For real! I did it and it was the weirdest thing that I have ever eaten ever! I tried to finish most of it so they would be pleased, and when I say they, I mean Sister Schamburger and her roommate. She has a roommate who is not a member and his name is Kevin and he just loves the missionaries. Man I am so glad I am a person now who is out-going and talkative because I think if I wasn't Kevin would really not like the missionaries! LOL When we first met him I was like okay, this guy looks a little rough, but when you get to know him, he is so kind and a very joking person who likes to have fun! So it's fun hanging out at Sister Schamburgers home!

On Sundays we watched Conference at the church so that was just so awesome! I love the stories they tell in General Conference. The speakers are so inspired and it is so amazing how they have learned so much in their own lives and how they apply it to the Gospel so well! General Conference is the BEST!!!! I can't wait for the November Ensign!!!!

Oh speaking of Ensign, have you and dad bought yourself another issue of last month’s Ensign all about the Book of Mormon? Oh boy, when I get time in my studies to read it I get so spiritually fed and it's so amazing all the things that I am learning about the Book of Mormon. Like the other day I was learning more about the Tree of Life and about what Lehi saw and experienced. I can't believe all the things I keep learning from the Tree of Life chapters in the Book of Mormon! It's so cool! Today I got to read from the Ensign and it was so amazing how we need to apply the Book of Mormon in our own lives and I learned how we need to develop it early in our lives and apply it to our future families. I'm so grateful to be on a mission because I think without this amazing mission I would not have developed so much love for the scriptures or for the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Hmmm what else shall I tell ya about! Hmm. Oh today is Zone P-day; I'm excited I get to see Sister Kinikini and I get to see other missionaries too. I wonder who is in our Zone now since transfers three weeks ago. It will be neat to see everyone! We are going to the same water park we went to a while ago and I am super excited but I think I won’t get wet this time, but we will see how that goes, the Elders like to get the Sister Missionaries wet sometimes!

Oh guess what? I get to go to La Porte on Friday and Saturday! I'm super excited. I don't get to be with Sister Kinikini (sad day) but I will see how much Sister Henson has grown. I know that she has learned a whole bunch from Sister Kinikini as I know I did when I was with Sister Kinikini. I know that Sister Henson needed Sister Kinikini even though I heard that is has been tough, which I totally understand, because it was tough with Sister Henson because she is new and is scared of new things but I know the Lord is going to help her to learn and to grow so much just like I did!

Well mom sad news. Do you remember how I had my gallbladder out to stop the pain, well... it's coming back! For real. I don't know why. I talked with Sister Crawford and she told me I need to be on a certain diet and I just need to tell the members I can't have certain things. Man having my gall bladder out bites! So today I am buying fruits and vegetables and then am going to have to tell members to make me salads or have fruit or vegetables for me because I can't deal with the pain anymore. It's not been that bad of pain but like the last few days it's been hurting off and on like it was before so it's pretty frustrating. I will keep ya updated on how I am doing! Will you look up information on the effects of having the gallbladder removed and the foods I need to eat and what I should avoid that will help my body so I can figure this out and be able to last the rest of my mission! That would be super great!

Well I love you mom and am so grateful for all the wonderful things you do for me! I hope you have a great week and that things are going well and that your work’s re-roofing ends soon, because that would be hard to work with the re-roofing noise! LOL Sometimes it is hard for me to stay focused in the mornings because we have a kid upstairs that runs in the morning or they are vacuuming at like 7:30 or 8 in the morning, but it's all good and you get use to it over time! But I got to run and write President Crawford and then get going for Zone P-day! I am super excited! Well take care love ya!

Love Sister Hawkins!

Looking cute!

Surprise ... another picture with sunglasses!

Houston - taken on her way to see the
"Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices" fireside

Houston, Texas (this is no Shelley, Idaho!)

They have a Rain Forrest Cafe!

On my way to the fireside ... so excited!!!

I ate dove!!!!