Wednesday, July 11, 2012


July 9, 2012


Thanks so much for the emails and as always it makes me happy to be sitting here in my internet cafe knowing that everyone back home is doing well and is healthy.  Wow the picture of the fire was pretty crazy but what a relief that it didn't get too close to grandma and grandpa´s house.  I´m glad that you all had fun on the fourth of July and to be honest it was a longer day than normal for me!  Dad like you said I also appreciated a little bit more the neighborhood party that we have there in Pepperwood. We really are so lucky to live where we do and get to associate with the people that we do.  

Thank you also for the emails from the friends, it's always good to read them and see how my other buddies are doing in their missions.  I´m getting really excited for Spencer to get back out on the mission and am praying super hard for him.  Tell him to get his butt to work the minute he gets there and to laugh and have fun.  There are way too many missionaries in the field that don´t understand that they are allowed to laugh and have fun, of course we have to be smart in what we do and say but if you can´t find things to laugh about life becomes mundane and monotonous.  

Ok well for me here in the world of Panamá.  Things are going really well for me to be 100% honest.  Changes are on Wednesday of this week and it sounds like I will have a new companion and since he has more time in the area than me i´m assuming that he´ll be leaving and I will stay and receive a new companion.  I´ll be sure to let you know how all of that goes in the email next week.  

This week was pretty normal if not a little bit slower because if you ask Michael many times the missionaries slow down in the end of the change because they don´t know if they´re going to stay or go and the same happened to my comp.  I was having to talk a little louder in the morning to help him get out of bed and get going;)  Haha but it was ok.  We had a few good lessons but nothing too amazing to announce.  The highlight of the week would have to be the noche de hogar that we had this week.  What we are doing is splitting the area up into 4 parts and doing one every week in one of the different areas each week.  This week we were in the area with the fewest number of members but still people came from super far away to participate and we ended up having about 20 people!  It seems like the members are enjoying them and hopefully it can be a way to help strengthen the ward.  We as the Elders have been in charge of the "dynamic" and so the last two times we have done games relating to the gospel like scripture jeopardy and pictionary.  This week we´ll see what we do because I want to do something where the members have to get to know each other better so I´ll be sure to fill you in on how that goes.  

Last Sunday we received a referral of two kids of a part member family that want to be baptized.  They are Josue and Hirum and have 12 and 9 years respectively.  It´s an interesting situation because the two kids and the mom want to do it but the father is inactive and the mom isn´t a member.  I want to be careful with this because if we baptize the kids it´s most likely that they go inactive without the support of their parents but in the same time denying them the opportunity to be baptized is also not quite the solution.  I don´t know what do you all think about this?  The goal of course is that we can marry the couple and baptize the mom, kids and then get them all sealed together but we´ll have to see what happens with all of this.  

So quick final funny story.  On the 4th of July I got homesick because I wanted to be with people in a place where they actually care about what´s going on in this day.  So in the night when I got home from walking around all day with my Latin comp I called the ZL´s and told them "HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA" they both laughed and we talked for a sec and then were all off to bed like normal.  Haha it made me laugh.  

OK well that´s about all for this week.  Happy birthday to Michael in this week and tell him his relationship with Allie can be determined by the quality of the present she gives him;)  Haha I´m totally kidding I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will sign off and get back to you next week!


Elder Hawks 

July 2, 2012

Hey family,

Wow thank you all so much for your emails and for sending your love and support.  I loved all of the pictures that you sent me and it looks like everyone is doing well and you are all experiencing the heat of the sun (Kenzie, and Korb look sun-burnt in the pictures you sent me:)  I´m glad to hear that everyone is doing well and happy.  First of all I want you all to know that while you are celebrating the birthday of our country with a bunch of Americans I´m going to be doing it in a house of 3 other Latins....Needless to say I´m absolutely stoked!!!!

Ok for this week in my life.  The honest truth is that there isn't a ton to report this was another slow week in terms of missionary work but it was nonetheless a good week and I feel like it was productive in some way.  We spent almost the whole week doing service projects.  The people here really like to call the missionaries when they need to put in a cement floor or some other kind of structure.  At this point I can pretty much say that I´m an expert at building stuff so I´ll be coming home looking for a job at Holmes Homes.  Haha it´s fun though and I figure if my comp won´t work for the Lord we can throw him into the fire and build some houses for people.  It´s been good though and fun to learn how to work with cement "Panamanian" style.  

On Thursday was the most insane rain storm I have ever seen in my whole entire life.  For real those crazy storms in Lake Powell can´t even touch this one.  It was raining so hard you couldn't see the other side of the street and lightning bolts literally were striking the house I was in and that is not an exaggeration in any form.  It was nuts and lasted about an hour and a half so needless to stay we had to stay in the house of the member where we were at.    

On Friday and Saturday I did divisions with an elder in the zone and went to his area.  It was nice to get out and do work with him and more than anything a change of scenery really helped to refresh me.  I love my area and my companion but every once in a while seeing a new face or new places can really help out.  

In terms of investigators we´re still fighting with a few that don´t want to come to church.  It´s been amazing to watch and to feel the difference of working with Elders who work with the spirit and constantly have it in comparison to Elders who don´t.  Something that I really have learned in the change more than anything is that being close to the spirit is the most important thing we can do.  If the people don´t feel the spirit they won´t be converted and if they´re not converted they can´t be saved in the kingdom of God.  In my reading of the Book of Mormon it has been incredible to see how many times the people are "filled with the spirit" when teaching and when being taught.  I know now better than ever that the key to success in the mission field is teaching, walking, and doing everything that we do with the Spirit of the Lord.  I´m so thankful to have been baptized and confirmed to the gift of having the Spirit with me in every moment so long as I keep myself worthy.  

I love you and am looking forward to this last week here with my companion.  President wrote me today and told me that I will be having a new companion so I´m excited to see how that all works out and excited to look forward to new challenges and experiences.  I love you all and pray that you will be blessed in all that you do!

Elder Hawks