Friday, July 19, 2013

July 8, 2013


Wow we moved!!  The pictures tell the whole story and it´s amazing we are literally out of the house and in with the grandparents for a little while.  I can hardly believe it but know that we were definitely blessed to have sold the house so quickly and to a family that can potentially get baptized that´s awesome :)  Not going to lie through this whole move it´s made me think a lot about how lucky I was to grow up in a place like Pepperwood with so many amazing neighbors, friends, ward leaders and just awesome influences that have helped me get to where I am right now.  Being in the mission and looking back has helped me realize how the Lord works through other people to touch your lives.  I could go on for days about all of the amazing men that were my leaders through scouts, young mens and of course Bishop Clayton and West who both did so much for me to help me make it to the mission.  I loved living in Pepperwood but just like the mission things almost always have to change so that the Lord can help us keep on learning, progressing and becoming the people that he wants us to be.  I won´t give any special shout-outs or this email will get really really long haha!

This week was a good one just like all the other ones I´ve had in the mission.  Seriously to start off I can´t tell you how grateful I am for both of my companions they´re the coolest guys and have taught me so much already they both are going home on August 1st so I´m going to miss them like crazy but don´t worry we´re working and we´re not letting ourselves get trunky!  Elder Ah-Kiong is a Samoan and he´s huge like 6´4´´ and 270 pounds but he´s just full of love so I keep telling him I want to hook him up with Shaunie Forte once she gets home so that we can keep hanging out after the mission!  Anyways this last week was full of having to run errands and especially taking materials like beds, fans, mattresses and all kinds of other things to missionaries here around the city.  It makes me lose a lot of sleep because we always try and do it after all of our appointments in the day and when the missionaries are in their houses.  I like getting to go around and see new parts of the country and also get to meet new missionaries.  It´s worth the sleep that I end up having to lose :)  

One of the things that we do as assistants is that we get to teach in the special leadership training meetings that we have in the mission.  This past wednesday we had what´s called "consejos" which is where all of the ZL´s from the mission come into the city and we have a specialized training meeting with them to help them know how to better direct their zones and help the mission have more success.  I taught about how the ZL´s role needs to shrink and how the DL´s need to step up and take more responsibility in the success and growth of the zone as a whole.  I think that if we can accomplish that we´ll be able to help the missionaries receive more hands on training from their DL´s which will help them become better teachers and learn how to work in their areas in a more efficient way which will help bring us more results. 

This coming week we have zone conference which is kind of nerve wracking.  We have to teach but this time we have to teach all of the missionaries and not just their leaders.  We have two conferences here in the city tomorrow and wednesday and then thursday we have to drive out to David (8 hours away) in order to have our zone conference out their on Friday.  So this week is going to be another long and busy one with literally no time in our own area haha but it´s ok it´s going to be a lot of fun to get to go out to a place that I´ve never been in my whole mission.  

So you ask about President Carmack.  He´s a big change from President Ward who was all animo, excitement and laughing because he has more of a spiritual and business type outlook on the mission so working with him has been different from what we were used to .  He´s a very very intelligent man and has three degrees in law, bio-chemical science and something else.  I think.  Haha and his Spanish is through the roof.  He speaks 4 languages (portuguese, french, spanish and english) is here with his daughter and is just a spiritual giant!  I love him and am already so excited to get to work a lot with him and help him in whatever he feels we need to do in order to help the mission keep on marching forward!  

I love you all and am so thankful for all of the love and support that you show to me.  My mission has been an amazing experience and coming down to these last few months is sad but exciting at the same time because I know that I´ve done it the way the Lord wants me to and I know that afterwards I´ll get to have all kinds of new different experiences!  I love you and know that this is the only true church of God!

Elder Hawks

July 1, 2013

Que xopa?!

Wow the move is official starting today.  Make sure and take lots of pictures and let me know how it all goes.  I`m not one bit jealous that I`m not there right now having to help pack up boxes and get things into storage but I`m sure once you find a new house I`ll get to do plenty of unpacking ;)  Thanks a ton for the email and the updates about some of my buddies in the mission.  I wrote Kylee a letter a while ago but I don`t know if she ever got it.  If possible let me know whether that letter made it to her it was a good one.  Now that I`m back in the office again mom you can feel free to forward me all of my friends emails and as many pictures as you want.  As of right now I`m ok on money, clothes and everything else that you could imagine.  In the next few weeks I`m going to start to buy some molas and all that good stuff cause before I know it I`ll be getting on the plane like President Ward did today.  

So far so good in my new assignment.  It`s a lot of work, I don`t hardly ever sleep but it`s going to be an awesome experience to work with the new mission president and get to do things all over the country!  One of the best things is that I have two of the best companions in the whole world but it`s going to change soon because they both go home on August 1st.  Elder Ah-Kiong is from Long Beach California and you already know about Barrera being from Mexico.  I love these two and it`s been a blast working with them even in just this short time.  So to be honest it`s kind of hard to even know where to start.  Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were long nights.  I didn't get to bed before 2am once those days because we had to make sure everything for changes was perfect and ready.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we tried to recover from everything that goes on in changes week but a bunch of things happened and we ended up having to take care of a sick sister missionary, move people into their new houses and make trips all over the place.  

The biggest news of this week is that President Carmack came on Saturday night.  We met up with President Ward at 10 pmin the airport to meet him and get all of his things shuttled to the mission home.  They came with two of their kids.  One is 21 and has only been home from his mission in Japan for about 6 weeks (he served in President Budge`s mission) and their 12 year old daughter Annie who`s going to live here with them for the next three years.  It reminded me a lot of when I got here.  They were all sweaty, looked a little bit lost but had the biggest smiles on their faces!  Saturday night we took them and all their luggage to the mission home and then let them get to bed.  Sunday afternoon we had a meeting with them here in the office where they got to meet all of the office staff and start making plans for their time here in the mission.  During our little session President Carmack talked about how excited, nervous and ready they are to be the mission presidents here.  It`s obvious just from the way that he talks and expresses himself that he loves us and that he`s a very humble man despite all of the success that he`s had as a business man.  He worked as a lawyer for Leman Brothers in NYC, served as a stake president for 10 years and has raised an awesome family of 5 kids.  They are awesome people and have brought a new atmosphere of newness and excitement to do the work of the Lord.

Today was a sad yet happy day.  We had the blessing of picking up President and Sister Ward to take them to the airport.  We were at their hotel at 5:30 in the morning and then drove them their. The whole way they went on and on about how much peace they feel for having served a faithful mission and having given their best to the Lord in these past 3 years.  President Ward is an amazing man and he`s changed my life I love him to death!  I learned so many valuable lessons from him and couldn't have been blessed with a better mission president.  It`s ok I`ll just have to take a trip out to Long Beach and have him teach me how to surf!  President Ward`s thing for the mission has been "siempre fuertes" it`s something we yell at every meeting because in order to prosper in Panama you have to be strong.  You have to be willing to be melted by the sun, soaked by the rain, rejected at doors, etc.  He was an example of what that really means up until the day that he left.  On Tuesday he sprained his ankle very very badly but he didn't even tell his wife.  He went to the airport with us to pick up the new missionaries and seemed just fine until finally his ankle swole up so bad he couldn't even walk.  He drove himself to the temple (a 30 minute drive) and then did everything else that he had to in the training of the new missionaries in a wheelchair with his ankle all wrapped up.  He could have so easily asked us to take over and do everything, or just said the new ones will be fine but he didn't.  He kept on working and stayed strong until the moment he got on the airplane.  

I want you all to know how much I love my mission.  It`s been an experience that`s changed my life and helped me become the person that I know the Lord wants me to be.  Serving him and preaching his gospel full time in the best thing I could be doing in my life.  I love you all and am so thankful for your love and support during these two years.  Happy packing this week and make sure to send me lots of pictures!

Elder Hawks

June 24, 2013


Hey thanks a lot for the emails that you sent me it was great to hear from you and know that everything is going well.  I must say that was an amazing meeting about missionary work yesterday the only bummer is that it wasn´t very well announced so the members that needed to come to it didn´t even know that it was going on so now all of us missionaries know about it but none of the members do haha.  We´ll have to see if they show up on internet so that we can help all of the members see those amazing messages and get excited to start doing the work.  I think that´s a great idea that President Hunt is having the missionaries in our houses more teaching us.  Something that´s really important is to be know in your area and have all of the members know who you are and how dedicated you are to the work.  If you can accomplish that the references start coming in. 

Anyways on to the news about me...So changes weren´t supposed to come until wednesday but I got a surprise call from the assistents at 1 in the afternoon telling me that I had to pack up cause they were going to come and pick me up.  I got picked up last night to be companions with my trainer Elder Barrera and Elder Ah-Kiong.  Today I had an interview with President Ward and he asked me to be the new assistent to the president when President Carmack gets here and he asked me if I could stay until December.  I told him yes and am now in the office again but this time as assistent.  Being the week of changes I get to help with all of the stuff that goes on.  Contracting buses, making a video of all the changes, buying food, picking up the new missionaries and a bunch of other stuff.  In the last 48 hours I think I´m running on two hours of sleep haha it´s going to be an adventure.  Anyways things are going to change in my life.  My area is right in the middle of the city but we are in charge of all the missionaries in Panama.  I´ll have the opportunity of doing divisions with almost all of the missionaries in all of the zones in the mission, teaching in the zone leader meetings, doing trainings for the zones and all kinds of other things.  On top of that We´re going to have to help President Carmack learn all about the country, the mission and all the missionaries and all that good stuff.  It should be a really neat experience to get to work with him and learn from all of the things that he´s going to bring to the mission.  

Well yesterday was my last day in Colon with Elder Aguilar and to be completely honest I was a little bit sad to have to leave because he was one of my favorite companions and we had some really good things going on in our area.  Yesterday we had 8 investigators in church which was awesome.  3 of the 8 have fechas to be baptized and I feel good leaving knowing that I did a lot of good things in Cativá and was able to help people be baptized and to have also helped the zone.  I´m excited for the change and know that it´s going to bring a lot of new experiences and new responsibilities.  To be honest I don´t even know what to tell you all but in the next few weeks as things keep moving on I´ll tell you more about how it´s going to be.  Thank you so much for all of the love and support that you´re showing to me and for always making me feel loved and special.  My testimony of missionary work has grown so much in the last 19 months that I´ve been here in the mission.  I love the Lord and know that He loves each and every one of his sons and daughters in the world and that´s why he wants us to preach his gospel.  Thank you so much for the package that you sent mom it was here waiting for me when I got here in the office :)  You are the best!

Elder Hawks

June 17, 2013


Jen and Kylan congratulations on having graduated from Stanford that is so amazing! Stephen you're a big time high school graduate which means that you now have more education than most of the people here in Colon haha bad joke I know.  Thats a lot of fun that you got to see what Colon is like in that t.v. show its pretty amazing to see how poor some of the people are and how content they are living in that state.  It makes me sad that they don't do anything to progress they just stay in their same old ways making ends meet when if they could get some education they could change their future.  

This week was another good one for us in Cativa.  We have a few investigators that we are getting ready for the 28th of June but the key is going to be that they come to church this coming sunday.  If not they will have to wait until July.  I feel like we are falling into the same routine right now so this week we are going to try and spice things up.  Changes are going to be next Wednesday and from what I understand I will be staying here in colon and my companion will have changes so we have to work hard this last week in order to make it a succesful end of the change.

The zone is struggling right now.  There are 3 companionships that dont get along all that well and what always happens is that if they dont get along their work rate goes into the ground.  Its unfortunate and a bummer when they dont get along because the cause is almost always pride and an unwillingness to find compromises.  The more I think about it the more I realize that companionships are like mini marriages (not like the ones in San Fransisco though).  When one of the two wants to dominate the relationship the other gets offended and it doesnt work.  When neither want to make decisions nothing gets done.  But if both can work in harmony and bring together their ideas and forms of doing things there is almost always success.  I think the more time I have in the mission the more I realize how blessed I have been with an ability to get along with almost anyone in almost any situation.  I dont know why its that way but im thankful that the Lord has blessed me with that ability.  

The mission has been an amazing experience and realizing that Im coming down to the last few months just motivates me to work harder and have as much success as possible before going home.  But its amazing how what motivates me now is really being able to help the people come to know Christ because I know that when we know who we are and what He has done for us is when we find the power within ourselves to change and become who he wants us to be.  

Thank you so much for all of your support and love getting your emails every week makes me feel so good and is a great support, comfort and motivation to keep working and making it through the times that arent so easy!  I love you all!

Elder Hawks

June 10, 2013

Mom and Dad thanks a lot for your emails it was great as always to hear from you and know that all is going well in the motherland.  If I´m not mistaken it´s Dad´s birthday this week and then Father´s day is also coming up pretty quick.  Thank you Dad for all that you taught me.  Whether it was in the backyard doing yard work, or coming home late on a Saturday night and seeing you reading your scriptures you've helped me become who I am right now and set an example of what I want to become.  

Wow this week went by way too fast.  Wednesday we had Consejos with all of the other ZL´s in the mission the Ap´s and President Ward.  It was a ton of fun to see a bunch of the boys that I came to the mission with.  While we were there I couldn't stop thinking about how much we've changed and how much the mission has changed in the year and a half that we've been here.  It´s amazing.  We learned a lot and mostly about our responsibility to animate, inspire and motivate the missionaries in our zones.  My companion and I actually were assigned to teach in the meeting which was a fun experience to share a few of the things that have helped us have success in Colón this past month.  I liked the meeting because it filled us with new ideas of things that we can put into practice in the zone in order to have more success and to help the missionaries reach a higher lever of success and efficiency.  

Something that I ate either Tuesday or Wednesday didn't fall right with me so to keep a long, gruesome story full of throw up, diarrhea and accidents in the street short I spent most of Thursday and Friday in my bed recovering.  Ah it was awful and only the second time in my whole mission that I've been sick enough to not leave to work.  It was horrible and to be completely honest really really boring ha-ha.  I´m over it but I think in the space of two days I lost 10 pounds which I will probably gain back in this week ha-ha.  

Saturday we had a baptism.  Her name is Nedelka Gracia and she´s freaking awesome.  She´s 30 years old and has gone through so much in order to make it to her baptism.  It was an awesome day and she was so happy to make the decision.  After being baptized she stood up in front of everyone during the baptismal service and gave her testimony.  It was short and simple but the most important part is that it came from her heart.  Sunday she was confirmed and is now a member of the church of God.  

Things are going well with me and I can´t complain about anything.  I love you all and am so thankful for all of your love and support.  It´s fun being a missionary right now because I finally feel like I have a feeling of what to do and how to do it.  Thank you so much for all of your love and support I love you all!

Elder Hawks

June 4, 2013


So thanks so much for all of your emails and love.  It´s so good to hear about Stephen being ordained to the Melchesideck priesthood that´s so awesome.  I´m glad to hear that the selling of the house is going through.  It sounds like there´s going to be a lot more looking done in the next few weeks which will be kind of exciting.  I hope that everything goes well and that we can find a new house quickly. Sorry for not writing until today. Yesterday we literally had no time at all so we had to wait until today in order to be able to do it. 
This week was a good one for us.  We finished the month of May with 18 baptisms in the zone and the fun part is that 7 out of 8 of the companionships had baptisms.  It feels good to know that they were all able to have success.  It´s been interesting to learn all of these lessons about how to deal with people and guide them in such a way that they all have the chance to succeed.  I think the best lesson that I´ve learned is that in this work no matter how weak a missionary is, how disobedient, or how unwilling they are to work every single one has a reason for the way that they are and within each of them is an amazing potential.  I think the hardest thing has been finding out how to help each and every one of the missionaries find the best way for them to have success in there respective areas.  I love the mission and I know that all of the lessons that I learn within this short two year period are going to be important for the rest of my life.  

Ok so this last week in church our ward mission leader(a 19 year old future missionary)  decided to make cards for all of the members to use to write down references for us.  We ended up leaving church with 7 new names of people to work with and through the course of the week went contacting each and every one.  To be honest most of them were pretty worthless haha but the last one that we contacted with was awesome and made of gold.  He´s a 21 year old boy who´s the husband of a member in the ward, he´s married (that´s the biggest miracle) and he wants to be baptized!  We put the fecha with him for the 15th and now it´s looking like we´re going to have baptisms this weekend the 15th and we´re hoping for the 22nd as well but I´ll make sure to keep you all updated weekly on how things go.  

This Saturday we have a baptism of a girl who´s been investigating the church for quite a while.  She´s 30 years old single and has 3 kids one of which is 12 (that´s the culture here they just start early haha) Her name is Nedelka and she can´t wait to be baptised and have all of her sins washed away.  I can´t wait for her baptism it´s going to be awesome.  I´ll make sure to send you pictures.  

Family I love you so much and am so thankful for how much love and support I feel from home.  It´s great to get emails each and every week from all of the people that I love most and are most important to me thank you for everything:)

I love you so much!

Elder Andrew Hawks

May 27, 2013

Mom and Dad,

Thanks a bunch for the emails and the updates on life. It sounds like things in the Hawks home are heating up and getting going for this move! I can hardly believe it and it will be crazy to come home and have all of my stuff in boxes but that´s OK it´s exciting to make changes and to adapt to new situations that challenge and stretch us. This week was a good chance to experience just that.

In our zone we have the privelage of having 4 sister missionaries and one of the companionships is not getting a long at all. They fight, cry, and ultimately don´t work so it´s become a problem. On Tuesday we had interviews with President and a lot of the problems came out but I guess not very many solutions were drawn and throught the course of the week everything just got worse. On Saturday we decided to bring the 4 in and talk to them about what was going on and figure out a few solutions so that this can stop and they can start working again. We ended up having about a 2 hour conversation and figured out a few areas that we can be better. The sad part is that the grand majority of their problems stem from pride and an unability to adapt to their situations and make it work out with their companion but in the end we gave them blessings and they were all hugging and crying together so I think that was a good sign haha.

Saturday afternoon we had our baptism and it worked out awesome. All three of the girls made the decision and were baptized. The little 9 year old girl was so cute and just looked at me when we were all dressed in white and said "we look like angels". Everything worked out perfectly and we ended up having a good amount of support at the baptism especially from the young men and women in the ward which was awesome.

Saturday night we had an activity for couples called "porque te amo". It was really neat because they planned it so that all the couples came dressed up like a prom with a dinner, activites and even dancing. It was a ton of fun and we participated by doing a "sychronized swim" Haha it was awesome and we had 4 couples of investigators come which was awesome. The only issue is that 2 of the 4 aren´t married so this week our goal is to see if we can start that process for them and help them be baptized in June.

Things are going well for me and to be 100% honest I havn´t had time to buy new shoes but I have my pair of brown shoes that we bought before I left that are holding up pretty well. A little bit of money for souveniers is never a bad thing especially since I´m coming down to the last months of my mission and will need to bring stuff home :) I´m fine on clothes and won´t need anything new before I come home so I´m not super worried about that. Thanks again for all of the love and support that you show me and I hope that you know How much I love you. Little Ruby is beautiful and I can´t wait to meet her!

Elder Hawks

May 20, 2013


So the changes affected our zone big time but our companionship no.  I´m staying with Elder Aguilar!  Can you believe it I´ve spent almost all of my time with Mexican companions maybe the Lord is trying to teach me something?  So in our zone all of the other 7 companionships had changes which is kind of weird because finally after the 6 weeks of last change we were all coming together and the unity of the zone was looking awesome and now we have to start over from nothing.  It´s fun to see changes though and the new missionaries always come in looking to make a new start, work harder, and be more successful. I love the challenges and opportunities the mission brings to grow and become better you always have to be adjusting and improving or else you get left in the dust.  

That´s some big time news on the house it´s amazing how you can go from nothing to sold in the space of one week.  Not going to lie I was praying that you would be able to sell it quickly so obviously the Lord heard me ;)  That´s exciting and change is almost always a good thing to bring us out of our box make new friends and adapt to new situations!  I can´t wait to come home and give my homecoming talk to a brand new ward:)  

Things here are going well for us.  We had five investigators at church yesterday and three of them were the gals that are going to get baptized on Saturday.  We finally were able to set up an hour and day when all the people they want there can make it so it should be a special day.  I think in the zone for the 25 we have about 12 more people getting baptized and if everything goes how it should every companionship in our zone will have baptized which is amazing and couldn´t make me happier!!  Being a zone leader has taught me that the people who you work with need to have success in order to be truly happy so my job is to do whatever it takes to make sure that they have success.  When they succeed they want to work more and when they work more they have more success.  It´s funny how it all works and the role that we have in helping them become what the Lord wants them to be.  

I love Colon and it´s been a lot of fun to serve here and get to learn new things about Panama and the mission.  We have our interviews with President Ward on Tuesday and I´ll be sure to ask him and sister Ward about when I´m coming home so that you can have a better time frame.  I love you all so much and am so grateful for your love and support!  I´m so happy for Courtney and Jason for bringing little Ruby into the world she looks adorable!!!  Mom my retainer broke and I don´t really know what to do...I think you have the mold of my teeth that you could run into Doctor Skanchy´s office to have a new one made that you could send to me but if that´s not possible I´m not quite sure what to do!  Let me know what you guys decide to do.  Thank you for writing me every week and always sharing ideas on how to improve.  I´ve noticed that sharing stories is always a powerful way to help people feel the spirit.  If you think about it the restoration of the gospel is a story about a young man who had a question.  Thanks for all that you do and we´ll talk to you next Monday:)

Elder Hawks

May 6, 2013

thanks for your emails and all of the pictures it´s a baby having fest out there what the heck happened?  Good luck everyone that´s pregnant I´ll be praying that all goes well with everyone.  5 de Mayo has no significance here and even my Mexican comp forgot about it haha.  To celebrate I made an orange freeeze for the family that we ate with last night and they loved it.  Everyone was amazed at how sipmle and delicious and simple it was.  Hopefully they liked it.  Afterwards that lady asked if she could have the bottle to make a food storage container and it made me think of mom and all the food storage we have down in our basement.  We´re really blessed in this area to have awesome members that bless us with food and their support.  All of sudden we´re starting to receive references and things are moving forward. 
On Saturday we´re going to have 3 baptisms and the rest of the zone is going to add 16 more.  I think it´s going to be a really special week and I can´t think of any time in my mission that I´ve seen a zone do something like that so as you can imagine I´m proud of the chavos and chavas from our zone!  I love to see them have success and it makes me almost as happy as when I´m having success it´s funny how that works.   
Wednesday we had consejos with all of the other ZL´s from the mission and it was great it was just what I needed to hear in order to help myself as a leader and the zone.  They talked a lot about how as ZL´s we have responsibility for all of the missionaries, areas, and investigators in our zone and making sure that they progress and can baptize.  We set a goal in our zone that all 8 companionships can baptize and so now we have to do all we can as their leaders to help them meet the goal.
I love this work even when it rains and I get pooped on by birds haha.  I´ll send you the picture.  Things are really chugging a long and I couldn´t be happier.  Thanks for the suggestion dad and it´s so true.  We´re trying to do activities in the chapel because when they get to know it and where it is they feel more comfortable coming and participating in things that we do there. 
I´m not going to send a big long email cause we´re going to talk on Sunday.  I´m going to call probably about 2 in the afternoon here (I´m not sure what time that is at home haha) and we can chat some more there.  It would be cool to hook up like we did last time so that I can talk to some of the other chavos from the family. I love you all and will call you during the week to let you know all the details! 
Andrew Hawks

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

April 29, 2013

Family and Friends,

Mom first of all it´s obvious that you made dad work way too hard on Saturday the poor guy looks demolished!!  Thanks for the update on the house and all the changes that are coming.  For mother´s day we´re probably going to call on the sunday of in the afternoon.  Hermana Noris offered us her computer and is excited about having us over, I´m not completely clear on what time it´s going to be at but as you know I´ll call you a few days in advance to let you know all the specifics.  It will be fun to get to talk to you all and find out more about all the changes that are going on in the Hawks home.  Dad it sounds like your change in work will be refreshing and should help you generate some new energy to keep moving forward!

Speaking of change our zone is in need of a little bit of it.  In 6 of the 8 companionships we have missionaries that have been here since before Christmas and for some reason or another their desires to work has gone down the drain.  We finished April with only 3 baptisms in the whole zone and not going to lie it´s been a HUGE disappointment.  I feel like as the Zone Leader I´m responsible but something that I´m learning is that all we can do as leaders is teach correct principles, give the example and then they have to fulfill their parts and assignments.  We´re going to have our meeting with all the other Zone leaders in the mission on Wednesday and we should be able to get some new ideas on how to help our zone lift up and have a great month in May.  

Things for us are turning around and looking up.  Our area is pretty big and a challenge we have is covering the whole area and visiting our investigators consistently which means that they can´t progress the way that they need to.  We have the blessing though of having a lot of returned missionaries and future missionaries in our ward so what we´re going to do is work with them and try to do divisions three times a week and work with for of us in the area so that we´re 4 instead of just 2 and that way we can double our efforts and see twice as many people in our area.  Also we´ve started english classes and noches de grupo in the ward to get them animated and to generate some references as well.  It´s fun to be winding down the mission but frustrating because I feel like I´m finally getting a hold on how to work, teach, and do this thing and my times ticking away.  I know that all I can do is make these last 6 months the most effective and successful months of my mission.  

Our ward is amazing and is helping us out a lot right now.  I´ve found that the people here want to work the key is just simply asking for their help.  A lot of times we put excuses for them and just assume that they won´t be able to leave and do visits with us when in reality if we just ask they´re more than happy to and actually waiting for us to ask for their help.  Yesterday we did divisions with 2 of the returned missionaries in our ward and it went really well we were able to contact a few references, visit our investigators and then invite more people to be baptized and church.  When the members of the church leave the compromise instead of us it´s a lot more powerful and the investigators feel more committed to actually follow through with them.  

Things here are going really well and I´m being blessed by the Lord I can see it every single day.  I love being here and love having the chance to be a part of this grand work that God is doing and couldn´t feel more privelaged than to be here in Panama.  There´s nowhere I´d rather be!!  I love all of you and am looking forward to getting to skype with you on Mother´s day.  After that phone call the next time I talk to everyone will be when I get home how crazy is that?!  Have a great week and Courtney I´ll be sure to pray for you these next few weeeks as you get ready to bring little Ruby in to the world!

Mucho Amor,

Elder Andrew Hawks