Monday, February 13, 2012

Working hard ... ending strong!

Well it is official, we received Emily's itinerary in the mail on Saturday.  She flies into Idaho Falls at 5:58 p.m. on February 29th.  She flies from Houston to Minneapolis to Salt Lake and finally to Idaho Falls. We are so excited to see her but also know she is sad to have to leave this amazing experience behind her.  She is working hard and ending strong.  We are just so proud of her.  As you will read in this latest letter, there are still many miracles happening in Baytown!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hey Mom,

Wow, what a crazy and super busy week! I can't believe I received all my flight plans. It just got me stressed trying to figure out how to get my bike home and to get some stuff mailed off to be sent home; but I'm not going to worry about that till next week! I can't believe I have been serving the Lord for 18 months! And mom do you know what is really crazy? I didn't even realize that I had hit my 18th month mark! I had an Elder tell me yesterday, since he came out with me, he was like, “Happy 18th Month mark!” Man I was shocked! I have just lost track of time and have just not been paying attention to time because we are just so busy in the work in Baytown! I can't believe how time is flying by!

Things are just going so great! I am having so much fun in Baytown and with my awesome companion! I owe Sister Cochran so much. She has helped me to change and has helped me get back on track to finish hard for my mission! I love her dearly and I don't think she knows how much she has really changed my life! Mom, she is such a hard working missionary and she has just helped me to have that desire back to serve and to forget myself and go to work! I feel like my old self again! It's so wonderful! It's so wonderful to have prayers morning and night and for studies and how we have companionship studies and how we laugh and smile! We just have a great time serving the Lord and truly are always thinking about our investigators! I don't think I have ever been so busy on my mission ever! Mom, I am just loving every minute that I have left to serve my Heavenly Father! I am not looking forward at all to coming home! I mean I love you all and miss you lots but serving the Lord is just something that I want to keep doing! Sister Cochran and I are always talking to each other about how much work there is to be done … like we just don't have time to breathe! I don't want to leave this area and the people we are teaching and helping come unto Christ! Being a missionary is truly a big blessing and I know so much more about my loving Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son Jesus Christ! I can't believe how much I have grown in the Gospel and how my Testimony is so much stronger!

We have a lot of great new investigators in Baytown! Hugo is just Golden! Even though he didn't come to church yet, we stay in great contact with him and we are teaching him tonight and tomorrow night! We had such a wonderful Church Tour with Hugo and it was great because President Crawford was there! And boy, Sister Cochran and I were really prepared for the lesson that day; we studied and we prayed for the Lord's help and the Spirit was super strong at the church even though there were so many things going on at the building while we were there. It was a little scary at first having President Crawford there, but you can feel the love from President Crawford! We had a great lesson at the end of the tour and when we committed him to baptism, he was quiet at first and he was looking at the baptismal picture and then he shook his head and said, “Yes, this is what I want! Yes!” Then we committed him to be baptized on February 26th and asked him to be prepared by then. He looked at us and said yes! And man that was such the coolest thing! I loved the spirit there! And then we asked him to pray at the end and well he was hesitant and asked to pass it to President Crawford. Well President liked that but took over to help him to pray because if we have them pray it's the first step telling us that they really want this Gospel and they are willing to make those changes in life! So President explained prayer in steps and Hugo said the closing prayer! The spirit was strong during that lesson! It was so neat to experience and I will treasure this in my heart forever! President Crawford called us later that night and told us how good we did and how we used lots of scriptures and that he was very proud of us! So that was awesome to hear!

We have four new investigators this week! Crazy cool uh! So this next week is gonna be super busy with appointments and also seeing and hearing from an apostle of the Lord …Elder Christofferson. Two of the investigators are Sister Schaumburger’s friends that moved in with her to help her out after her surgery. She is home from the hospital now and is doing super well! Her friends asked us questions one night about the difference between Catholics and Mormons? We told them there are some differences but we didn’t answer all their questions … well in a way we did because we told them that is what we come share with everyone. We told them we teach them about the Gospel and how we are different and how we have the Priesthood Authority. We asked them if they would like to learn more and they said yes they would love too! They also said they wouldn't have a problem coming to church because they need to help Sister Schaumburger get to church! So we are excited that we get to start teaching them tomorrow!

We also have an investigator from the Galaviz family; it's their 10 year old granddaughter who wants to get baptized. She is super excited and her baptism date is for the 26th of February also! So we are having fun teaching her! The last new investigator is a part member family. They are a young couple who are just starting their family. The wife is three months along and she wants to learn about the church and we are also going to try and help the husband come back to church so they can work towards the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity! So it's just super crazy busy but it's so awesome the things that I am learning while preparing for the lessons and the things that I study just touche my heart and makes me love the Gospel even more!

Mom guess who I got to see last night? Well for starters, last night was our first performance for the Texas Houston East Mission Choir, "Come Unto Christ" and we were in Kingwood and I got to see Monica! It was so awesome to see her! She is doing well. You might remember that I told you she got married a while ago and now she is 16 weeks pregnant! She is gonna add me on facebook and tell me when they find out if they are having a boy or a girl so you are gonna need to help me when I get home to make a cute towel for their new child! But she is loving married life and having the family in the Gospel! She just has changed so much! She said they are still planning on October for the Temple! So I get to make a road trip in October! But Monica said I need to come see them earlier and not wait until October but I told her I will see what I can do! But it was a blessing to see her last night!

Oh, mom there is so much to talk about but there is not really much time as today is Zone P-day! My last Zone P-day!! We have to be in Eagle Spring between 1:30 and 2:00 and so we have to be super quick today. I will have to send you pictures next week, just no time today! I wanted to let you know I did get my package and thanks so much, I'm glad the pictures worked! I'm super excited to see the missionary movie Melanie is making me! So are ya'll gonna wait to add more pictures of when I get off the plane at the end of the movie? I was just wondering. Oh mom … a request if I can. When I get off the plane do you think we could get me a Jamba Juice because I know I will be super hungry and I know we will probably have to be quick to get back to Shelley for me to be released that night but I'm looking forward to having some Jamba Juice! Especially the one with pomegranate because it doesn't have any acid fruits in it! But I guess we will have to see!

Well mom I have to write President, but I love you and thanks for all you and dad too! I love you so much and I'm working hard the last two weeks! :) I'll write to you soon! Have a great week! Love ya!

Love Sister Hawkins!

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