“Oh you lucky girl!”

 

“Oh you lucky girl!”…that is what everyone says when I tell them Rochester. 🙂 This is the reactions I get from 99.9% of the sisters, “CAN WE TRADE MISSIONS?!”
 
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!
 
Really though. This is the best decision I have ever made in my entire lifetime. I’ll tell you a little about my last four days here at the MCC. (Yes, that is what I call it. I strongly believe this is the Missionary Converting Center. Elder Holland said we must be our own first converts, and boy, how did I have the faith to put my papers in without knowing all of this fantastic stuff?)
 
So the first day, we quickly dropped our stuff off in our rooms. I was the first one there, so I got to choose the bottom bunk! Then I met my companion, Sister Smith. I thought she was going to Florida, but she’s going to San Antonio,TX! There is another Elder in my district, Elder Swanson that is going there, and the rest are going to Columbus, Ohio. I am the only one in the whole MTC serving in Rochester! I actually haven’t even met any other girls going to Visitors’ Centers. I will in a couple weeks, though.
 
Then we went through this huge line to get our books. I walked into this little hallway where there are thousands PMG’s printed in hundreds of languages. That was the first time feeling the Spirit. The phrase “We’ll bring the world his truth” popped into my head and I got major chills. Anyway, we then went to a huge opening devotional with all 328 of us new missionaries on Wednesday! We got our nametags (accompanied with our dork dots) and off we went to this huge hall. We all sang “Called To Serve,” and then of course “We’ll bring the World His Truth!” I was pretty much in tears. It was the strongest I had ever felt the Spirit up to that point.Then President Brown asked all of the different nationalities one by one to stand. It was incredible. Of course the Japanese missionaries had headsets on and their translators were lagging about 20 seconds behind…it was funny.
 
Then we met our districts. BEST DISTRICT IN THE MTC. We have the sweetest Elder Thomas that has a family of 8, and he is the only one that has served from his whole famiy. Let me back that up…the only MEMBER in his whole family. His family means the world to him and it is such a testimony builder of sacrifice. He earned so much money to be here, and you can tell that he is filled with happiness. And I thought I sacrificed a lot. Psh. The other Elders are the coolest guys ever. They are so cute and 19! I truly feel we are brothers and sisters. Oh, and we pray all the time.
 
The first spiritual experience I had myself was the first night. I layed in bed thinking, “Monica, what have you gotten yourself into?” About five minutes later, I swear to you I could literally feel wings being engraved on my back. That was the Lord telling me personally that I will be an angel to thousands of people over the next 18 months. The best part about the whole experience was that it made me completely forget about Monica. I’m Sister Hawkes, an ambassador of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
 
We then went to meet our teachers, Sister Murray and Brother Reeves. They are inspired of God. There could not be more perfect teachers in the world. They are so in tune with the spirit, and really know what each and every missionary needs. Brother Reeves, Sister Smith and I were talking yesterday about the magnitude of our mission calls. Sister  Smith prayed to God wanting to go somewhere warm, with diverse culture, and speaking English, because she knew her talents, and she felt she could be used best there. I wanted to go somewhere where I could teach thousands of people. The thing we both had in common was that in the end, we both prayed that our desires would be God’s desires. Let me tell you…our missions are perfect for us. We were just basking in the thought of God literally foreordaining us to these missions and putting the desires in our hearts.
 
There is so much to tell you. These last 4 days have been the longest days of my ENTIRE LIFE. I feel like the beginning of this week was another lifetime. I can’t even begin to describe the spirit here at the MTC. Today we played volleyball with Elders and Sisters straight from Tonga and Samoa. Those people are ATHLETIC! But it was so neat knowing we didn’t have a native tongue in common, but we had the language of the Spirit in common. And I’m pretty sure they will be the best missionaries ever because they are SO humble. Amazing people.
 
That’s another thing! Sister Murray said we are so blessed for being English missionaries. Instead of taking time to learn another language, we are learning the language of the Spirit. I am so blessed to be speaking in my native tongue. And we are in the newer buildings. 🙂
 
I have seen so many people I know here! For my sweet little Camille…I’ve seen Elder Richins in the cafeteria and just about 10 minutes ago playing basketball. He LOVES it here. He is totally on fire. He said Portuguese is so hard, but he’s doing awesome. Then Sister Nelson, and Elder Lewis…etc…it’s so great! I love seeing so many familiar faces working towards a common goal.
 
I’ve never learned so much. My testimony has grown 1,000% each day. I can not describe how true this gospel is. Nicole and Sarah, you need to serve a mission. Jake, start preparing now. Read everything you can about the Spirit of the Lord. I’ve only been here 4 days, but I’m a completely different person. I really don’t know how I survived with how little of faith I had before! Apparently it was enough to get me here…and I’m so glad it did. We’ve been learning about the Restoration (woot!) and all about how to teach. We have been role playing investigators. There really are so many people out there that don’t have the opportunity to hear the gospel. This is the most important work in the entire world. I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was. It is…okay, I have no words to describe.
 
I have never been happier in my entire life, and I’ve never worked so hard. I go to bed each day completely exhausted, but completely happy with what I have accomplished. This work is progressing, and Satan is being destroyed missionary by missionary. There is NO WAY that I am going to let anyone go without hearing the gospel. This stuff is just too amazing.
 
Well, I better get going, but I love you all! Thank you so much for all of your support. My first letters were from Mom, Brookie and Brad Wilcox! Thank you! And yes, Mom, your three e-mails were the first. 🙂 Jake, I can’t wait to get your letter! I miss you all, but not really because I am SO HAPPY and I know that you all are safe. LOVE YOU!!
 
Sister Hawkes
 

MTC Address until Jun 12:

Sister Monica Hawkes
MTC Mailbox # 312
NY-ROCH 0611
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
 
After June 12:
Sister Monica Hawkes
NY Rochester Mission
100 Perinton Hills Office
Park Suite 120
Fairport, NY 14450-3603