Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!! I´m glad you all got to go down to Richfield with Grandma and Grandpa Hawks and I´m not going to lie I missed that it´s one of my favorite traditions that we have as a family. Thanksgiving was honestly awesome for me because sister Ward invited our whole zone over to eat at her house and then have a short little devotional. Unfortunately we didn´t get to help cook because she had a "couple companionship" and her ayudante help her out the day before. We did get to help set the table and do a few little things like that which was fun! The best part of the whole meal may have been that she has a dishwasher (that´s something you NEVER see in Panama) so we only had to rinse the plates and stick them in there:) She cooked us a real American Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey that she made in the oven, mashed potatoes, stove top (my favorite), yams, gravy and even wheat rolls. I must say she went the whole nine yards and ended up cooking for about 26 people. Ah it was so dang good but I´ve found that my stomach is accustomed to rice so I was STUFFED after just one plate. I know it was so unlike me haha. It was such a fun day and we were so blessed to get to go! After we ate dinner we sat down and had a small fireside type thing where President Ward taught the importance of being thankful for everything that we have. He challenged us to pray that night without asking for one single blessing and to really take time and thank God for his goodness towards us. After that challenge we went around the room and all said one thing we were thankful for. Mom I said I was thankful for you because of the way you raised me to be patient and loving so thanks mom I´m so blessed to have a mom as awesome, fun, loving, patient and caring as you you´re the best!
I couldn´t be more proud of Scotty and his choice to serve a mission. I love that kid to absolute death and know that if he puts his mind to it he will be an excellent missionary. His call is way cool and pretty relaxed cause he doesn´t have to worry too much about any type of language barrier and can just get out and hit the ground running. I think this is the week that Korban goes back out on his mission and I couldn´t be more proud of him. He will be one of the best missionaries this world has ever seen and mom make sure to go and see him before he leaves if you can!
Other than our wonderful Thanksgiving day this week was one of the more disappointing of my mission. Due to our office duties and an increased load of things to do because of the Christmas part coming up it was hard to leave when we wanted to and as a result we had less time in our area and with our investigators. Camila ended up not being baptized this week because we were unable to get to her house to finish teaching the commandments. It´s ok we just moved her fecha back a week to this Sunday coming up. Yesterday she and her mom came to church and participated in everything. It´s neat to see how the mom took the initiative to reactivate herself after a few years of inactivity. She told us one morning she just woke up and knew that she needed to get going back to church and without making excuses about the members or worrying what they would say or think she got herself up the next week and came to church. I love how the Spirit can work in people without them even realizing it sometimes. Our other investigator Neri was supposed to be baptized yesterday as well. Saturday night we didn´t even go to the area because we were running around our area looking for her baptismal clothing, Sunday we got to the church and the bishop didn´t have the key so we had to take two taxi´s to and from the office to pick up ours, we cleaned to font (It was nasty and when we started the water it came out brown) and had absolutely everything ready. Her family didn´t show up...After Sacrament meeting we went outside and called them and it turns out that she randomly went to work and her recent convert husband who was going to baptize her had run off to Colon (a city about 30 minutes from Panama city) to go fishing with his friends. Ah it was tough man because we had already filled up the font and everything. Oh well what can you do sometimes. It will be interesting to go by their house this week and see what happens and what they say about the baptism. I know she wants to it may just be a lack of support from her husband who is also really new in the church and obviously doesn´t understand 100% the importance of this covenant.
Some people have asked me about the influx of missionaries that we´re going to see and the truth is that it´s dramatic. We have a group of Elders and Hermanas who are coming in the 19th of December and it´s the biggest group of missionaries to come into Panama at a time at 29 missionaries. It´s super exciting but being in the office it´s been fun and stressful to do the logistics of where a group like that is going to stay, what they´re going to eat and what we´re gonna do to keep them from getting too bored. We´ve had to be really clever with this one and we´re gonna have them stay at the hotel the church has right next to the temple and they´re going to go to a session and everything their first day it´s going to be really cool. Turns out a girl from Kenzie´s stake got her call to this mission and it was funny because I receive the information and recommends of all the missionaries and she showed up on my system this week. Sometimes it´s fun being in the office:)
Our office was a mess this last week because I got a shipment of folletos and books of Mormon but the best thing that came in this shipment was 200 miniture Preach My Gospel´s in Spanish!!!!!! They are literally the coolest thing in the whole world and are going to be so useful! I´m sending you two pictures the first is one Sister Ward took of me and Elder Echeverría one of our assistents at the Thanksgiving dinner and the second is Elder Wade, Julian, Camila and I! Enjoy:)
Thank you so much for everything you all do for me I am so blessed to have such an amazing family with so much support and love from everyone I´m excited to be an uncle again and to have all of these things going on at home. I´m getting really excited for the Christmas season and it´s gonna be sweet to decorate the office with the stuff you sent me mom so thanks a ton for that:) I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week full of all kinds of happiness!!