Friday, February 1, 2013

January 14, 2013

Dear family,

As always thanks for the emails.  Needless to say I´m not one bit jealous of you guys and the weather that yoú´re experiencing right now.  Having to deal with negative temperatures does not sound fun at all and the truth is it´s still feeling like summer here and the truth is that we´re in summer so it´s even stopped raining, don´t be too jealous;)  I hope that everyone can get a little bit better this week and that dad you have lots of success on your trip to Wyoming.  I love you guys and will be praying for you.  
Well this week was a lot better than the last and a lot of it had to do with the fact that I worked a lot harder to help us get out of the office.  I kind of took it upon myself to be ready at 3 and do a little bit of nagging to help get the process moving forward a little bit more.  As a result we had a few really neat lessons this week.  One of the investigators that we´re teaching right now is a family that we found door contacting a few weeks ago.  The father works a lot and as a result it has been really hard to meet with them in their house.  On Friday night we were in our area at a recent converts house cause we wanted to teach them a lesson.  Neither of the parents were home so rather than just teaching the kids who probably wouldn´t listen anyways we decided to leave.  We were going to go contact another part of the neighborhood but as we were walking we changed our mind and chose to go to see Pedro (the man) to see if we could run into him at home.  We got there and finally he was home!  When he saw us his face lit up and he said, in Spanish, something to the effect of "long time, no see" and ushered us into his home.  We sat down and his wife came in from the kitchen and we just started talking.  Through the course of the conversation we started to slip little things in and started teaching them about baptism and the importance of it.  They both agreed that it´s something they need to do to help their family get back on the right path and be able to move closer to God and so we challenged them to prepare for the first week of February.  It felt so good to be able to teach them that they can be cleaned from their sins and receive a re-birth once they´re baptized.  

Another fun thing about this week was that I got to do divisions with Elder Bentz one of the assistants.  It wasn´t a normal day of divisions because we had to run around and do all kinds of chores.  Something that´s happening with the influx of missionaries coming to Panama is that we have to be finding, renting, and equipping a lot of new houses.  One of our jobs was to drive out of the city with our truck full of beds, dressers, and all kinds of other fun things missionaries need to live and filling up a few houses.  That took up a good part of our day but something fun and different that we did that night was eat sushi with a lady in our ward.  I must say fish is not my forte so I thought raw fish wrapped in sea-weed was going to be a fiasco but luckily it wasn´t as bad as I thought it would be!  I definitely won´t be spending my own money on it any time soon but at least I didn´t throw up.  That experience told me one of two things...1.  the things that I like to eat has changed dramatically or 2.  My stomach is now strong enough to take on just about anything.  Either way I´m not sure how I feel about it!

On a side note, this week I´m going to send a letter to Scott but I decided it would be a little more meaningful to do so in the form of a physical letter.  If you could email me his home address during this week I´ll check my email and send that this Friday when I send the mail of the mission.  Things here are really going well for me and it´s neat to notice things that are changing about me.  A great example of this happened last night.  Mom, remember how much of a struggle it was for you to get me to go to firesides and stuff like that?  Last night was the CES devotional and the whole day it was the main thing I was looking forward to doing.  I think that spending all this time preaching about Jesus Christ and the importance of following Him has had an impact on me and helped me to know the things that are most important in this life.  I know that this is the Church of God and that that´s a truth that will never ever change no matter how many people choose to fight it.  I love my Savior and know that he died for me personally and that he suffered so that I could be saved.  It makes me happy to be able to tell people that it´s the same for them and that they can come to have the same surety that I have.  I love being a missionary!

Elder Andrew Hawks

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