Friday, August 17, 2012

August 12, 2012

Hello Family,
Wow to start off this week absolutely flew by I can honestly hardly believe that it´s already monday again!!  Dad I loved your email and it would be a fun idea to do some talent shows and stuff like that to get the family involved.  Sometimes we have to push people out of the box and force them to have fun if that makes any sense.  I´ll be excited to be there the summer of 2014:)  Sounds like as the summer comes to an end and real life kicks back in everyone will fall back into the routine of life.   The honest truth is that I haven´t gotten the other package that you sent me but this wednesday the assistants are coming to our district meeting so it could come then!
Ok well this week was 100 times better and we didn´t have to spend any time in the bathroom which made me a happy boy.  Haha we are still in the process of marrying these three couples and we hope that they will be married and baptized by august 26th but we´re going to have to see if all the paperwork goes through.  I pray that it will but as you know things concerning the goverment tend to take a good amount of time to go through!  Yesterday in the chapel was tough and only one of our investigators could come to church but what can you do sometimes things just fall through. 
Other than marrying the whole world we found a new couple that we are now teaching this week.  We went to a part of our area that we´ve never contacted and started knocking doors.  One of the first doors we knocked was of a young girl named cesilia.  She´s 19 years old and married and really opened up to us in the first visit.  In the course of us teaching she stopped us and told us a story about how she had been pregnant at 16 but had aborted the baby without really knowing better.  She was holding back tears as she told us how her little baby would be three years old now and that she just has felt so bad and wants to feel forgiveness.  It´s hard because Preach my Gospel teaches us that when someone describes a sin like that we can´t promise blessings because the mission president has to come and do the interview and approve the baptism himself.  We wrapped up and that night (Thursday) I called president and explained to him the situation.  He told me to go ahead and teach her as a normal person and that he will come and do the interview when the time comes!  On Saturday we went again to her house and explained the atonement and how when we repent we can be forgiven and made clean and the smile would not leave here face.  They accepted baptism and now we just have to keep visiting them and help them get to church!! 
The mission is wonderful and it has been an amazing experience.  I know that it´s going to keep being amazing and that I´m only going to learn more and become the person that my Father in Heaven wants and needs me to be!
I love you all!
Elder Hawks

August 5, 2012

Dear Family,

Thanks for your emails.  Congratulations jayson and dad in your bike ride that´s so sweet and when I get home you better believe I´m going to want to get out and do a little of that after the mission!!  Wow here come the announcements of my friends getting married that´s honestly really weird I don´t know quite what to say but I´m happy for them and excited for them to be with their sweethearts.  Also I´m so happy to hear that spencer is doing well thanks for sending me his email he sounds great and I know that he is going to be an excellent missionary, if you could find out his email or mission address and send it to me that would be fabulous!  Ok for the shoes I need probably around 80 dollars because I need to buy something that´s going to last me for a while thanks so much, I feel bad asking for things...A huge favor...the next time you send a package I need some new medium tall garments of the dri lux material.  I´m not quite the latin size so here in the temple they don´t have what I need...Haha thanks!

The honest truth is that this week was long and involved losing ten pounds.  The long story short is that everything that entered my body was coming right back out whether through one end or the other.  Needless to say it was not very fun but what can we do:)  It turns out that on tuesday we ate a fried rice that a lady in our ward had bought and it wasn´t quite done...So it gave my companion and I a nice little trip and for the past week either he or I had to be in the bathroom at one point or another.  Unfortunately it restricted us from doing the work that we normally do but oh well life marches on and we still have people progressing.  

You can pretty much call me the wedding planner because we are in the process of helping three couples get married and once they are married the women are all going to be baptized.  It´s wonderful because all of the men are members that maybe just didn´t make the best decisions and so have been unactive and due to their state of living have been unable to participate in their priesthood responsibilities so once they are married and put their lives in order we are also bringing back three melchezidek priesthood holders as well.  I´m pretty much pro at doing this marriage thing so we´ll see what happens when I get home;)  Haha

I don´t really have any big time wild super cool stories only that being sick in the mission is not fun because you feel miserable in your body and also for the people that you could be teaching or contacting but can´t because of your sickness.  One thing that I do know is that the Lord answers prayers and helps us through our trials whether they´re big or small.  I also know that the spirit prompts us to do things even when we don´t know it and we have to always follow through with the subtle messages that he sends us all day every day.  

I love you all and know that being here in the mission is the best thing I can be doing now in my life and that it´s the best two years "FOR" my life.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and I will look forwarding to hearing from you next week:)

Elder Hawks

July 30, 2012

Wow sounds like the family renuion was a lot of fun and thanks so much for the pictures I´m going to go and print them off and add them to the little photo album you all sent me in my last package!  I´m glad everyone had fun and that everyone´s doing well!
Ok so this week was awesome.  Josue and Hyrum, the two kids got baptized this week!  They were both so excited and had so much fun at church and in their baptism.  Their grandpa performed the ordinance and their whole entire family came.  It was a wonderful service and the spirit was so strong.  Their dad who has been inactive for who knows how long came to all three hours of church and to finish off in the baptismal service had tears in his eyes as he watched his two sons enter the waters of baptism.  Afterwards he told me he wants help getting married to his girlfriend so that she can be baptized and that they can be sealed together in a year.  It´s amazing right now my companion and I are in the process of marrying 3 couples all of whom the wife will be baptized once their married.  This week we´re going to try and do all of it so wish us luck:)  Other than the baptism there isn´t a ton to report so I will send you these pictures. 
We are working with the members really well here and doing the noche de grupo every week has been a huge hit.  It has been fun to watch people invite friends that aren´t members and they instantly feel accepted and as though they have friends in the ward already.  I´m excited to keep working here and getting the people to come out to church.  The assistancein our ward went up this week and we were able to pull 64 people out to the chapel (that´s alot here ok) haha.
I sent a memory card home to Kenzie in a letter I was sending to her and so look out for that in the next week and have her bring it over to you guys.  I know mom you want me to send that stuff to you but I was already sending her a letter so I didn´t wanna waste more postage;)  Ps.  my black shoes are pretty much done so if it´s at all possible to put some money in my account to buy some new black shoes next monday that would be awesome! 
I´m doing really well and am honestly happy and comfortable here.  My companion is new but willing to learn so everything is going really well between us!  I´m happy that we´ve been able to have baptisms and that Í´m helping him have a good start to his mission!
I love you all so much and will be so excited to hear from you all next week!
Elder Hawks
I love you all so much and am so grateful to be serving the Lord here in Panama!

July 23, 2012

Hello it sounds like you are all so happy and doing wonderful.  Mom and Dad I really hope you have enough energy to tend this two year old miss Eloise.  Make sure to take pictures at the family Reunion and send them to me I would love to see them.  Eden was really beautiful when we went last summer it was fun to be in the mountains enjoying the scenery and cooler weather during that time of the year. 
Ok so this week was excellent as well we really got our bums to work again.  My companion is from Mexico and as I said in the last email only has a year and a half as a member.  He came to know the gospel because he really was like Joseph Smith looking for the truth and testing out all of the churches.  He said that he was at a friends house when the missionaries knocked on the door and the minute they explained the restoration he knew it was true.  He was what we call a golden contact.  haha It´s amazing how much he has learned in a year and a half because he knows his stuff.  It´s funny because sometimes if he isn't sure on a point of doctrine he looks over at me to reaffirm himself.  Haha being with him has been a complete turn around from having to teach 95 percent of the lesson on my own to him wanting to teach 95 percent!  We've been working really well together and are improving every day.  Ok so to be training is fun because in the mornings we have our hour of personal study and then two hours of comp study.  We are using a program called "The first 12 weeks"  it helps us to focus on the points of the doctrine.  For example this last week we were studying the restoration of the gospel and how to teach it so the whole week we practiced teaching under new circumstances.  I feel like yes I´m training and helping him but that he´s also training me and helping me to find the passion that I had for missionary work before my last companion.  It´s been soooo refreshing to have someone excited about doing missionary work!
The noche de grupo has been a big hit and every week we are pulling out about 20 or 25 people which is great because the average assistance in this ward is about 40-50.  We are using it to help the less active members come out, have some fun and remember the feelings that they had when they joined the church.  I am 100% open to any kind of ideas that you guys have because we are running low of ideas ourselves!
The two kids, Josue and Hyrum are going to be baptized this Sunday and I´m really excited for them.  We committed their parents to come to the chapel the two weeks before but unfortunately yesterday they were both sick so only the kids came with the grandparents.  They are fun and really seem to like coming to the church and have the support of their grandparents 100%.  Pray that the parents, especially the father Mario can get on his horse and come back to church.  His story is actually really sad because when he was 19 he was going to go on a mission but decided to stay home and get married to his girlfriend.  Long story short they ended up being sealed and then divorced within 3 years and ever since that time he´s been inactive.  I´m so thankful for the support that I always had from everyone around me to come on my mission because I know it´s the right thing to do and the place that I need to be right now.
I love you all and am so thankful for all that you do for me.  I´m super grateful for your support and love in everything that I do.  I hope you all have a wonderful week and we will talk next Monday!!
Elder Hawks

July 16, 2012

Dear Family and Friends,
Hello I´m glad to hear that all of you are doing well and that my home state isn´t burned down to the ground yet!  Spencer I hope you have the best time in the MTC always remember to look for the best in every single situation that you find yourself in.  No matter what happens the Lord has a plan and sometimes it´s a lesson that he needs us to learn to become stronger and better.  I love you buddy and am praying for you and your success.  "Winning isn´t´s everything" Vine Lombardi.  The team of the Lord is where we need to be and the beauty is that there isn´t one doubt that it´s the team that will win!
Ok wow so the changes this week affected me in a big way.  My comp is out of here and there is a new one.  I´m training Elder Hinojosa from Mexico.  He got here last week and is in love with Panamá.  It´s awesome 3 out of my 4 companions have been Meixicans so maybe the Lord is trying to send me a message about that country or those people?  Haha it´s awesome he has 1 year and a half in the churh and is so exited to be a missionary.  The change has been pretty dang drastic but it´s been so much fun! 
We have gotten our little bums to work and since thursday we have found 19 new investigators.  Yeah welcome to the mission.  I put this kid to work and we contacted like crazy and freak it´s been a little while so I have had to brush the dust off my contacting skills.  It was awesome and yesterday the people really wanted to talk to us.  Yesterday alone we had 13 lessons and every single one was from contacts.  Something that is awesome about training is that the new Elder has all kinds of guts to get to work and to be honest I do too so it has been a wonderful mix for the both of us.  He is doing awesome and loves everything he is so excited to work and to help the people which is such a hange from my old comp who didn´t want to do or love anyone or anything here in the mission. 
Ok fun little story because I don´t have a ton of time,  yesterday was The Day of the Children and so we woke up to Disney music blasting all throught the neighborhood.  (of course it was Spanish Disney music)  So that got me off to a good start.  In the afternoon they shut down the main road where we live and had a huge parade pass through!  We got Tshirts and hats I was pretty stoked.  In the night they had a pretty sweet firework show right next to the house.  At our dinner appointment the member where we were eating told me Happy fourth of July with a big smile and it made me happy to see some fireworks! 
I´m doing so well and the work is going to take off here in this area I can just feel it.  I´m sorry to be short today but I don´t have a ton of time beause today isn´t our PDay technically.  Tomorrow we are going to the temple and so today the zone is writing because we have to always report numbers on Monday.  I´m happy, healthy and looking forward to getting some big time work done.  I love you so much and will get back to you next week:)
Elder Hawks