Monday, December 3, 2012

October 29, 2012

Dear mom and dad,

Thanks a lot for your emails and your support I know I say it every week but it means a lot to have all of the support and love that I do from my family back home.  It´s always good to know a little bit of what´s going on at home and that everyone is doing well!  I love you guys to death.  To me it´s crazy to think that Halloween is this week and all the normal traditions are going on at home.  One year ago I was dressed up as a dead soccer player, Kenzie was a cave-woman and Eloise an octopus haha classic!  Here in Panama Halloween is literally nothing except for the rich people and they just go to parties dressed up and that´s all.  Whenever I tell the members about our tradition of "trick-or-treating" they are fascinated and most of the time don´t believe me haha.  This week is going to be interesting because Panama won their independence from Columbia the 3rd of November in 1903.  I´m excited to see how Latins celebrate Independence!  It will be fun because the 4th is Flag day here and from what everyone tells me it´s a really big deal but I don´t know I´ve never seen it I´ll make sure to fill you all in with the details next week.  Thanks Dad for the bank information it worked and now I can keep an eye on my accounts thanks a lot!  

As for me life is good and I´m feeling good in the swing of the missionary routine without letting it get boring.  This week was a good week in terms of our investigators.  Something that has come up between Follette and I is that he is a very careful teacher and I like to be direct in terms of inviting these people to be baptized in the first or second lesson at latest.  We have a few investigators that we´ve been teaching for a while but that just have´t been progressing the way that we had hoped or prayed and so we sat down to make a game plan.  We came up with the goal to put fechas (dates) with them to help them progress a little bit more and to get them excited about coming to church and doing all the things they need to do to come unto Christ.  It was fun on Thursday we left the office without a single fecha but Thursday night we got home with 2.  It was such a fun day and super neat to see the Lord´s hand in the work and how he touched the people with the spirit so that they would be willing to accept the goal to be baptized.  One of these investigators is a lady named Nary.  She is the wife of the man we baptized at the beginning of the change and if she can make it into the waters of baptism the family will be completed and then we will need to put the goal of them being sealed.  I love this gospel and know that it´s the only way for us to get back to God and live with Him.  My favorite part is the unity of the families.  There is no other church that preaches eternal families the way we do and I´m so grateful for the blessing that I have to be sealed to my family but also the opportunity I will have to be sealed in the temple with my future wife!  

The other investigator who we put the fecha with is named Howard.  He´s from Nicaragua and speaks perfect English.  He´s got his roots from the Caribbean and is a really humble, willing to listen type of person.  It´s been tough to teach in English just because our custom is to teach in Spanish and so to switch the words gets confusing a little bit.  I know that we´ve been blessed and as a result have been able to teach him pretty well.  

Ok the moment of truth was Sunday because we put the fechas for the 11th.  Saturday night we called and called and called but couldn´t get a hold of anyone so we passed by Howard´s house and everyone in his family was drinking like crazy which just made us so sad.  He however did tell us that he would come to church the next day but when we called in the morning he couldn´t.  We even passed by his house but he was hung over and just kept telling us that he felt so bad and had taken the wrong path.  I was bummed but we went back to his house in the afternoon and he was doing better.  He is really positive but it could be tough because he´s going to have these influences from his family the will pressure him to do things he knows he shouldn´t so I pray that he will still be able to progress and be baptized.

Other than that this week was pretty normal.  President Ward has come in the last few days to do the changes and being in the office we get to go in afterwards and see the changes that he does.  It´s kind of fun to be able to see but we´re under strict oath not to tell anyone haha.  It´s a lot of fun here in the office and the more time I stay here the more I like it.  

I love you all and am so thankful for you all and all of your support.  I want to congratulate Courtney on being pregnant and I´ll keep her in my prayers that everything will go well and the baby will be born healthy!!!!!  Have a wonderful week everyone and I will look forward to hearing from you all again next Monday!!

Elder Hawks

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