Wow that was really fun to Skype and see ya'll on Christmas Day! And do you want to hear a miracle story?! Well at Brother Stone’s house it was a miracle because all three of us missionaries got to Skype with our families and it was all under his internet that isn't the best internet source at all. He tried to use his neighbor’s internet but couldn't do it. While the two Elders and I were Skyping, Sister Higley did a three way call on the phone with her family and her brother who is on a mission in Alaska! When we were all done Brother Stone said, “It is just a miracle ya'll could be able to do that! The Lord was really blessing ya'll to talk with your families!”
Mom it was really great to talk to Wade and Cadi and to hear their voices. I miss them lots! I love the advice Wade gave to me because it gave me hope that I can finish my Mission strong and that I'm going to see wonderful things happen! It was great to see the girls too! I can't believe how much they have truly grown! Wow when I come home it's gonna be super crazy! It's sad but funny; I can't tell Kadie or Ella apart, it's been so long since I have been around them! I loved their primary songs they sang! It totally made me cry! It was really great to see Rachel and Jackson too! I can't believe how long Rachel's hair has gotten! Holy Cow! I love the new nursing scrub outfit you bought her for her new job! It's super cute! I'm excited for dad's new Dutch Oven too! How fun! When I get home I want some of Dad's famous Peach Gobbler! Yummy! :) So ya'll got a new vacuum! Why, did the old one break or something! It was probably really warn out from Buddy's dog hair uh! Well super awesome ya'll got fun stuff for Christmas!
I loved all the gifts that I got for Christmas! The Young Women and Men sent me a stocking with some fun stuff and made super cute Christmas cards and there was some of the Young Men and Women who wrote to me too! I wrote to them back because it made my Holiday Season twenty times better! :) I also got a gift from Aunt Amy! She got me a cute small journal that I'm gonna use for my Study Journal the last months of my mission! I like it! I also got a darling watch from Grandma and Grandpa Cavalier. And today I noticed I have a package from the UPS and I have to sign for it, so I have to go in the UPS store and tell them I will pick it up tomorrow. I don't know who it's from but I'll let you know when I find out who sent me a package! :) I loved all the stuff you sent me for Christmas! I really love my CTR sign language ring! Thank you so much! I just love showing it off and I showed it to Karen and she thinks that is cool and also Sister Gentry who helps interpret for Church!
My CTR Sign Language Ring --- Love it!
Christmas morning ... we went to the Spanish speaking
Sisters' apartment and opened our gifts together.
Elders new Christmas ties
Gifts I gave the Elders
So I'll tell ya what I have been up to this last week! We had choir practice this week and we are singing my favorite hymn, “I know that My Redeemer Lives!” We are going to sing it for the fireside that we are going to perform in February! They were asking people to do solo's or a duet so after practice I went up and told the choir director that I would like to do something so maybe next practice I will know if I'm gonna sing by myself or with someone so we will see! I'm pretty excited for these mission firesides that we are going to do! I think we will be able to teach more people and to just bring the spirit stronger to our areas and to have the people in Texas be more excited about Missionary work! :)
Well something really cool happened the other day that I didn't tell ya on the phone that I totally forgot … silly me. That probably means I needed to share it today in my e-mail. We were at an investigators house and were watching “Joy to the World!” It's a movie that has the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing and telling about Jesus Christ’s Birth! It's really good! Well we were watching it with our investigators and then they had a friend stop by who also sat down and watched it. She really liked it and was commenting on the choir and the beautiful scenes from Salt Lake City. She asked her friends if she could borrow it. Well then I spoke up and said that if we could get her name and number that we could get her a copy of her own to keep! So she did!!!! She isn't in our area though but she gave us her information and she did borrow the movie until we get the information to the other missionaries to go see her. She also started to ask questions and we were answering them and she then told us her son is looking for a church where he is going to collage at ATM. She wants to learn more too! So I was really excited and super grateful! It's been neat going to their house because we always meet new people and we are coming in contact with them and spreading the Gospel Message everywhere! :) So that was pretty sweet what happened this week!
Well mom I had an interesting week with Sister Higley. She hasn't been herself lately so I asked her what was going on and what I could do to help. Well she broke down and said she felt like she hasn't been the best missionary she can be and felt like she hasn't been working as hard as she could and she said she is homesick and misses her family. I listened and just let her talk and I told her it's okay with all the feelings that she is having right now. I told her it's normal and that every missionary I know goes through that same problem! I told her it's okay if you’re not strong sometimes and that is when the Lord is here to help us. I just talked to her and gave her examples from the beginning of my mission and just told her that things are going to get better. I told her we just got to keep working really hard to find those who are waiting for us to teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I bore my testimony to her about the power of the Priesthood and suggested she get a blessing. After some more convincing she ended up receiving a blessing! The Blessing was beautiful and it was all the things that she needed to hear and I felt the spirit there and if felt great! I love the power of the Priesthood! It's the best thing ever in the Gospel because it can truly bless our lives so much! And later on in the day, she thanked me and she really appreciated what I did for her that morning! :) And so I was still on a mission to help her out.
I really know that being homesick is so not fun! So I was like hmm... What family can we see to have fun at and play games for a while and not focus so much on missionary work because she was missing her family so much and the fun time of Christmas! Well the Stones popped into my head! I called them up but they were not home but we were blessed later that day to run into Sister Stone. I pulled her to the side and told her I needed her help! I explained how Sister Higley was struggling a bit and was missing home and was homesick! I then asked her if we and the Elders could come over later that night to play a few games and have a fun time! And of course she said sure! I thanked her a whole bunch and told her I really appreciated it! Sister Higley didn't know what was going on and neither did the Elders; they just knew that we were going to the Stones that night after a dinner appointment! :) We had a fun time! We all were laughing and we played Phase 10. I was grateful for this blessing that everything worked out great! :) It was so much fun and I could tell that it helped Sister Higley a whole bunch. Later that night she really thanked me for all the things I had done for her that day and then asked what she could do for me and I said, “Not a thing! I'm doing good.” I told her I just needed to help her right now because I know what she is going through because I have was there a year ago. I then told her, “It gets better after this I promise you!” And so it was a neat day on Wednesday with all things falling into place! The Lord really did hear my prayers that day to help my companion out and to give me inspiration of what to do! So grateful!
Also this past week we got to be with a family and watch “The Testaments.” It was really cool as I haven't watched that video in a long time! Near the end where Christ is atoning for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and also being beaten and spit upon, I just felt so much love towards my Savior Jesus Christ and it was a very sweet thing for me to have! I loved it! I loved what I felt and it made me want to become more like Him and to do all I can for my Savior! I love that movie! It's so powerful!
I can't remember if when we were Skyping if I told her about Karen this week but it was a really neat appointment. We couldn't find a member to come with us so that the Elders could come into her home and so what the Elders did was sit on the porch and signed to Karen through the window. It was so sweet of them because it was cold and raining. But the coolest thing was that when they were teaching Karen about the Birth of Jesus Christ for Christmas, I just loved how much more I was understanding the Sign Language. I just focus so much on the person who is signing so I can learn all that I can so I can be able to help Karen at church. This last week I didn't have to interpret for Karen but when Sister Gentry was interpreting I was really paying attention to her and I was just watching her and really not listening to the speakers because I was understanding it all in sign language! I don't know how to explain it and I love talking to Karen because I can sign a whole lot better with her and it's just been a really fun thing to learn the language! :) So it's pretty sweet!
Well Christmas Eve was fun! Brother Stone invited us to his house and we had breakfast for dinner … well not me … I had a chicken breast, green beans and fruit! Then we made a whole lot of different cookies, even sugar cookies, and we laughed and just had the best time ever! They had Christmas music playing and it was just lots of fun! Brother Stone took some pictures for me because it seems like I take pictures but I’m never in them! So that was pretty sweet! But it was so much fun! We chose to wear our new Christmas Pj's to their house and the Stones whore their Pj's too! It was so much fun! We just had a blast and I just felt like we were family and it was lots of fun! And not to make you sad mom, but I didn't even think of ya'll during that night, I didn't miss ya'll like I did last year. I did think of you helping dad out on Christmas eve and how busy ya'll are! Super crazy! And also during the day I did think about you making the yummy Christmas breakfast casserole! Hmmm... I miss that, but it's a blessing that I have really overcome my homesickness and that I'm not scared anymore and I can be anywhere and not freak out like I did when I was younger! Just a wonderful blessing!
Christmas Eve at the Stones!
I'm truly grateful to my Savior Jesus Christ and for all the blessings that He has given me over this past year and for how much He has truly helped me to overcome my weaknesses! It's just the neatest thing ever and just a big blessing! I can't wait for ya'll to see me and to see how much I have changed! I can't believe it's almost here, but I do hope and pray the time goes by slow so I can continue to enjoy the last couple months left!
Well I don't have much more to say but I love ya'll and am so grateful that I had the opportunity to see ya'll on Christmas! I love you lots and thanks for all the love and support ya'll give to me! I hope to hear from you soon! Love ya!
Love Sister Hawkins!
Decorating a cake at Sister Galaviz's house
I cut those strawberries in the middle ... pretty cool!
Me at Meme's house
Me and Sister Henson at Zone P-day
Cloudy, rainy day!