Monday, December 3, 2012

October 8, 2012

Dear Mom,

Wow it´s always so good to hear from the family and know that everyone is doing well...First of all this big change in the missionary service is going to affect our mission here in Panamá and depending on what Stephen does we may not see each other for almost 4 years!!  That was kind of a sad yet fun thought.  I know that all of this is inspired and there are already a lot of 18 year old missionaries here in Panamá so it´s not going to make a huge difference, the change with the sisters however is dramatic and it got me thinking that technically Kenzie could get up and head out on a mission right now if it was what she wanted to do!!  Crazy!!!

Ok so as you noticed I had changes.  I have been made the new general secretary of the mission and am now an office rat.  Last wednesday in the changes they announced it and I started immediately.  The honest truth is that this is going to be a 180 degree turn and change from what I´ve been doing in the mission field up until this point.  Some of my responsibilities concern buying the tickets of all the missionaries that are coming and going, for President Ward when he has to make flights inside of Panamá, collecting the mail of 200 missionaries, and receiving other little chores.  I don´t know what all of my jobs are going to be but I´ll let you know more about it as I get going in the job a little bit more.  

On wednesday when I found out the honest truth is that I was pretty dang bummed.  It´s a huge difference to get off of the streets working and sweating all day to help people and then moving into an air conditioned office building and sitting in front of a computer all day.  I was sad because I just thought I´m not qualified for this, and why would you take me off of the streets when I have been having success and helping the work move forward?  It´s going to be a big change because we have to be in the offices from 8 am until about 4 or 5pm doing all sorts of things.  As a result we get back to our area and have only 3 hours to try and find people to teach, bring to church, and baptize.  The truth is I was really big time bummed because it just changed my fast paced life as a field missionary to an office rat, or so I thought.  I am being trained by Elder Follette who is finishing up his 4th change here as the general secretary and he has been awesome about helping me out and teaching me all of the things that I have to do.  He also has been good about getting all of the things done in the office so that we can leave and still go to work in our area.  We are actually going to baptize the father of a family that was baptized this last week.  He has put his own baptismal date for this Saturday at 6 so that will be a good way to start out my time here in the area.  Something else that´s going to be new is that we don´t eat meals with the members so it´s going to be tough to build relationships with them here but I know that this is going to be a new experience with lots of things to learn and new ways to grow.  I´m thankful for it and will look forward to doing the best that I can!

General Conference was awesome as always and we were blessed to be able to see all 5 sessions in English.  We only missed out a little bit on the Saturday afternoon session because of a big time rain storm that knocked out the satellite power in the chapel where we were at.  We went to a stake center and got to be with a bunch of other missionaries to watch conference which made it even more fun!  I loved this conference so much and received a few answers to questions and prayers that I had had.  The honest truth is that all of the talks were wonderful and have helped me out in one way or another but the talk that Uchtdorf gave Saturday morning about being happy and not having regrets really made me think a lot.  To be honest when I found out I was coming to the office I wasn´t happy or excited because I just thought what the heck i´m going to be wasting so much time here int he office doing nothing when I could be out in the field bringing people to Christ but as Uchtdorf starting speaking and talking about coming to the end of life with regrets it made me think about my mission and how if I go through with a bad attitude I´ll miss opportunities to serve and to become better and I´ll finish my time in the mission field with regrets, which is something that I don´t want at all.  I realized that I have to always have a positive perspective and to learn what i can from every change and opportunity that I have.  I know that there is a reason the Lord prompted president to put me in the office and now it´s up to me to find out what I can do to fulfill with the Lord´s expectations and the potential that he has given me.  Conference is such a huge blessing in our lives and being able to hear the voice of the prophet and apostles of God is amazing and a guide to us in our lives.  I love how no matter what questions you may have, what challenges you may be facing if we go in to the conference praying for guidance and revelation we will receive it.  

I love you all and am so thankful for your love and support in my behalf.  I got the package that you sent me on Friday mom and it´s going to be super hard not to open the presents until my birthday!!  Thank you so much for thinking of me and for always loving me and raising me to love the Lord!  Have a great week and we´ll talk next monday!

Elder Hawks

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