Just Take a Moment to Realize It

It was an incredible, but challenging week! I guess that’s how missionary work always is, right? 🙂

To start off the week, we took a trip to Rochester to visit the doctor. Sister Correia got diagnosed with bronchitis! She (we) were bed ridden for a few days. I got lots of studying and planning in, which was good, but especially after the hectic schedule of Pageant, we wanted to get going! I didn’t realize how much of a desire I had to work, and work hard! It took lots of patience on both of us to finally get her better and out of the house.
So then…the last 3 days were powerful. We had a bunch of lessons at the sites that were exactly what I had studied while she was recovering. It’s amazing how much the Lord is aware of what’s going on and uses absolutely everything to your advantage. I got to go on an exchange with a trio of sisters. We taught a lesson to a girl that just got baptized on Sunday (!!) at Sodus Point on the shores of Lake Ontario. When we drove up to the park where we were going to meet her, I gasped because no one told me that this lake was going to look like an ocean! It was green farmland everywhere, then once we got over the hill, BAM, there it was. Complete with a white sailboat. 🙂 That was Heavenly Father’s way of telling me I was on the right track. We taught her the lesson, prepared her baptism program and then off we were again to the next appointment!
The absolute highlight of my week, however, was on Sunday at the BOMPS. (Book of Mormon Publication Site.) We didn’t really have any visitors for the first hour, but sure enough a man walked in the front door. He was about in his 60’s, and had cute little Ben Franklin spectacles on. I was the first one to jump up to take him on tour! He introduced himself as “Bob from Minnesota” and said that he only had time for a quick 10 minute tour because he was heading down the Erie on a houseboat. On the way upstairs, I asked him if he had ever heard of the Book of Mormon. He said briefly, but he loves history and religion so much that he felt he needed to come in, even if it was just for a second. Once we got upstairs, I gave him the Restoration in 2 minutes flat. He turned to me and said, “Psh, I kinda feel like Joseph Smith! I have NO idea what church is true!” He explained to me that he was Catholic only because his mother had pretty much hounded him since the day he was born. We went over to the print shop and I showed him how the Smith Patented Press worked, and he was amazed at how much “coincidence” there was in having it here in Palmyra, how fast it took, etc. We then went downstairs to the bindery, and then to the Book of Mormon room. In that room, there are 9 original paintings of the stories in the Book of Mormon…Christ in the Americas, Mormon abridging the plates, Moroni burying them, etc, and I explained to him just a few of them. When we got to Christ in the Americas, I said, “Why wouldn’t Christ appear to more nations than one?” He again turned to me and just said, “You know Sister Hawkes, this just all makes sense. I agree with everything that you’re saying.” Right after he said that I offered him a Book of Mormon to take with him on his trip. He looked at me like, “Are you serious? Free?” He just kinda studdered and said, “oh definitely, I’ll definitely read it and study it. For sure.” Then I turn him around to the poster that read Moroni’s Promise on it. I asked him to read it, and he was absolutely fascinated. He said everything made sense and he was willing to take the challenge. So we head downstairs back to the first floor, and I showed him the office of E.B. Grandin, and of course, the bookstore where the first Book of Mormon was sold for $1.25. (Back then, that was about two-days worth of work for an adult male.) But I got to hand him a copy of the Book of Mormon, right in the Grandin Bookstore on the original floor, for free. He was very taken back and asked if he could make any sort of a donation. I told him no, that all I wanted him to do was to read and ponder it. He kept flipping through the pages and saying, “I love this…I love this. Thank you so much.”
What a cool experience to have as my first time ever handing out a Book of Mormon. Most everyone in Palmyra has one, so we don’t do much of that. And if we do have visitors, we rarely give them out because we want the missionaries in their hometown to personally deliver it to them. But I felt like I needed to give this one to him. I explained the gospel to him in ten minutes…The coolest thing however…is that the Spirit will prompt him and remind him of the experience he had at the Bookstore that will last a lot longer than ten minutes. I hope I see Bob from Minnesota again. I don’t think he realized how much that motivated me.
Experiences like that are everywhere. We just have to look for them! Not only do we have to look for them, but we have to reflect back. If I never reflected back, I would have never realized the magnitude it had on me, and hopefully on my new friend Bob. Heavenly Father is sitting up there just waiting for you to ask Him for blessings so He can pour them upon you. Another very neat lesson I learned in my studies this week, is that laws actually make you free. If you keep His commandments, in turn, they are actually teaching you freedom. I knew that, but I never realized that. I seem do be doing that a lot on my mission…realizing. 🙂 There is a law (a commandment) to pray. When you pray, it’s the law that He will answer your prayers. Heavenly Father is all about freedom. Just read in Alma about Captain Moroni! He does everything for the freedom of His people. Then of course, when you pray, ask Him to help you understand everything that He’s pouring out upon you. Because it’s happening. It’s just a matter of if we realize it or not.
The time has come for yet another fun-filled P-day. Did I say another? I meant the second P-day of my mission. 🙂 We are going hiking in Naples to Hi Tour! I hear it’s beautiful…don’t worry–I’ll take pictures! Love you all!
BE HAPPY!
Sister Hawkes
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Transfer #1: Check!

Pageant is over. I’m definitely going through HCP withdrawls. I have the battle scene songs stuck in my head, and it feels so empty thinking about the cast not being here! I have to wait until next year. But at least we get time to think now. Kind of. 🙂 It’s been so busy, but it will get just as busy with more people to teach…more investigators hopefully coming our way…etc. I can’t believe I did all that in my first transfer.

Pageant was absolutely incredible. The spirit of the cast was so strong all day, everyday, because every single person wanted to be there. There wasn’t one person that was ruining it, but all together made it amazing. With 900 people bringing the Book of Mormon to life, and within a couple hours having everyone leave, was really hard. Especially being the 75th anniversary! We had an awesome turnout with so many people that came, “just because they felt they needed to.” Members, and non-members both. What was really neat was that every night, I saw at least someone I knew, if not multiple people. It’s making me feel less weird about being on a mission, it’s actually helping me focus even more on the work! Anyway, at the last Sacrament Meeting we had with the cast, they had the PR woman come and tell us how the media received the Pageant. She said they were intrigued by these young kids that knew exactly why they were there, and not because their parents signed them up for it. We had the Discovery Channel, the New York Times, Time Magazine, a bunch of international television stations, and of course all the local newspapers and magazines. I actually got to talk to the producer of Discover America on the Discovery Channel for about 5 minutes. He came up and just asked me about why I was here for 18 months, if I got paid, etc. We had a fantastic conversation and from what the PR woman said about them, they were very impressed with everyone they talked to! Apparently they came here for another reason, but it turned into a documentary about the Mormons and how devoted we are to their faith and our Savior. Hopefully that’s how they will portray it on television, but regardless of the fact, it was an amazing opportunity.

Even though that was a cool experience, the thing that made it all worth it was what one of the cast members told us on closing night. He said that there were girls who said they wanted to go on missions because of us six sisters, because we proved that missionaries could be fun and spiritual. The boys also raised their standards to girls who not necessarily were returned missionaries, but were girls “just like the sisters.” We spent a LOT of time with them, and every single second was worth it because of that comment. If we could change just one life, it would have been all worth it. But I, with the other sisters, are amazingly blessed to have been able to influence at least 900 lives over the course of 2 weeks.

Yes, today is transfers. But Sister Correia and I are staying together! This is her last transfer. 😦 I’ll miss her so much. She has taught me a lot about missionary work! She loves everyone she comes in contact with, and puts all of her trust in Heavenly Father. And, we are getting a new sister in our apartment tonight! It will be really fun to start off with a new transfer, and have time to go knock doors and testify of the Savior in the most interesting places. 🙂

Well, sorry I don’t have that much else to report on. You can check out my pictures on my missionary facebook from the Pageant! I can add you, but I can’t communicate with you on my missionary page, sorry. Just my investigators. 🙂 This is the most important work in the world. I’ve been thinking lately how much I had to give up to come here–but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. Missionary work is the hardest work, but also the most rewarding. If anyone is thinking about turning in their papers–don’t think about it. Just do it. I can promise you that you will have an experience that could never be duplicated anywhere else. The Lord will guide you and bless you in your efforts.

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes

Rewards, rewards!

This is probably going to be really short.

The past week, me and Sister Correia have been pretty sick. We have been talking all day every day, and our bodies just ache. Haha. But the work is still SO GOOD! I can go into more detail later, but I have seen so many people I know. We also brought two investigators we met at the sites to the Pageant last night, and one of them was just crying because as soon as Moroni read his promise, she goes, “That is it right there. That right there is what I needed.” It was the best reward out of anyone I’ve ever seen. And the best part: SHE’S FROM SALT LAKE! So she said when I get home she’ll be a member, and we are going to general conference together. She is just amazing. And another one we met did almost the same, only when she came to the sites she straight up told us that she didn’t want to learn more…half an hour later…we had her committing to come to Pageant and then came and sat with us! She is also AMAZING. I got the actor who plays Moroni to come talk to her before hand too.

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Apparently that was a good move on my part, because they were talking for a really long time and simply him just being in costume and testifying of Christ really got to her. She came up to me after they talked and just gave me a huge hug and said, “I love you.” Again. Best reward ever.

Yesterday was such a fantastic day…including Brother Johnson telling me he had seen you all the day before!  I saw the Hammonds from St. Anthony, and also Ray’s youngest daughter and her family! And a bunch of other people…so odd to see them while I’m a missionary. But so awesome. The work is progressing. We have been working so so so hard. I literally fall in my bed every night. It’s a complete miracle that I can actually smile and be friendly with people. 🙂 Love you all!

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes

Enjoy the following pictures, complimentary of Monica’s facebook account. 🙂

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Let the Games Begin

PAGEANT HAS BEGUN! Oh man…I have not shaken so many hands in my entire life.

 
But I totally love it. Mom, I’m totally turning into you. When little kids shake my hand, I say almost every time, “Break my hand! Break my hand! Look me in the eye!” And they of course grab on with two hands and literally try to break it. It’s awesome. They are so sweet. Monday morning we taught a bunch of 10-year old boys about how to be missionaries and simply to open their mouth. (We had about 8 workshops with all different age groups that went until this afternoon.) It’s funny if you tell them something will make them become men…surprisingly, they will do it. Let’s just say we had lots of firm, strong handshakes and big smiles. It was FANTASTIC. I also love tailoring each workshop to the different age groups. Sometimes we have adults, some YSA, some Primary…but the coolest thing about it is that we all are teaching the same message.
 
3 steps to missionary work:
 
1. Open your mouth. TALK TO EVERYONE!
2. Use scriptures and testify of Jesus Christ. We are a Christ centered Church (obviously). 🙂
3. Invite them to do something. Make sure to offer them a commitment, or else they won’t do anything.
 
So those are the three workshops that we have covered the last three days. Now we go into their individual team tents to role-play with them. It is a blast. Speaking with, not to, 900 people a day is the best job in the world. Being able to teach and testify just as the Savior would is a miracle. “His voice to testify becomes the same as your voice. His hands, are your hands.” (Something like that from Pres. Eyring.) If all else fails, I just think of what Jesus Christ would say if he were my companion. As much fun as it is…I’m totally exhausted. Literally. Sister Correia and I fell into our chairs to write these e-mails.
 
Sunday night we had the missionary devotional. President Christianson came and blessed all of the cast that they would know what to say, know how to act, and most importantly, how to be missionaries. It was amazing to see a literal blessing, but throughout the whole cast while they were sitting in front of us. President had us full-time missionaries get up and recite The Standard Of Truth and the missionary purpose so they could see the power of memorization. It was powerful. Then we all stood to sing “Called To Serve” at the end of the devotional. Tomorrow is final dress rehearsal. But about 1,000 people are expected to come! So basically tonight is the last rehearsal. They have all done amazing. I saw the Resurrected Christ scene for the first time this afternoon. I was in absolute shock at how much the spirit is even brought into those rehearsals. Especially that scene! They pulled up the man who was playing Christ (my age) on a pulley into mid-air. He was holding a black sheet and then when the music cued him, he dropped the sheet so that the Savior appeared. Of course, this part will be in pitch black night so no one will see him going up, they will only see him appear in mid-air, appearing to people in America after the destruction. It was BEYOND powerful. I need to keep pinching myself that I’m actually here…and that I get to do this same thing next year.

Wow–I’m so tired. Not so much physically, but so tired mentally and spiritually. The weirdest thing though, is that all I want to do is go sit on a nice soft couch with my scriptures and teach a lesson to someone that needs Jesus Christ in their life. Oh man…I’m such a missionary! It really is the greatest job in the world. Even last week, I took a family on tour who only wanted to see the Smith log home, then go into the grove. So I taught a lesson in the home, then let them out the back door while I went out the front door. As soon as I closed the back door, I realized I was in Joseph Smith’s home alone. Nobody gets this chance. I just bowed my head and said a prayer of gratitude. When I was done, I left again through the front door, almost to hear Joseph Smith say, “let’s get back to work.” Sorry to be so personal, but I know for a fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He didn’t call it upon himself. This is the same gospel that Jesus Christ had when He taught on the Earth, and Joseph Smith has been prepared from the beginning to be the prophet of the Restoration.

I love your letters. Thank you so much for your support. Thanks to my family…and especially my family at BYUtv! I just got your letter at the end of a very exhausting day, and nothing else could have made me more happy than for Robbie to tell me that they feel like the lost boys in Peter Pan without their mother. I was just beaming. So thanks, everybody. 🙂 I’ll write you back soon!

This church is true. Read the Book of Mormon. But most importantly, read Moroni 10:4-5 before, during, and after your study sessions. Everyone here keeps saying it changed their life. But I would be lying if I said that. WEIRD, I know. However. Change means some sort of opposition. I have been SO lucky to be raised in a family that was based on the Book of Mormon. I have been living the principles since day one. BUT. The Book of Mormon has influenced my life in a way I could never imagine. I love it and Jesus Christ more than anything in this world. Love you all!!

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes

 

Monica with FUTURE MISSIONARIES! Monica and Cast Monica, Correia, and MORONI Actually.. this one is Moroni.. other is Nephi...

The Best Week!

I AM SO HAPPY.

Wow, this week was possibly the best on the mission so far. Not because anything big happened, but because of all the little things. The Lord truly is in your life every place you go, if you let Him. Seriously, everywhere. There is not one moment this week where He was not guiding me and Sister Correia.

First of all–Dad, thank you SO MUCH for Jesus the Christ and the Articles of Faith! I honestly haven’t been more excited to get anything in my entire life. It was like Christmas. I know, definitely not a Monica personality trait to get that excited about books. But I’m totally turning into Sarah. I find that the more I learn, the more I learn that there is so much to learn. (If that makes any sense.) Pretty much I have so much to study in so little time. Eighteen months isn’t nearly enough time to study half of what I want to. My companion and roommates were actually super excited for me too, those are gems in the mission field! Oh, and I also put my name, where I’m serving, and the dates of service for the rest of our family. As I was writing them down, my companion pointed out that they’re starting where the Church in the Latter-days started itself! How cool is that?! So starting out from Rochester, New York, they’ll go around the world. Again. 🙂 I wanted to put Wayne County, because that’s where we live right now. We live right next to Manchester, that touches Palmyra.  But I love the idea to share these wonderful books with the members of our family that will be serving missions after me.

We went tracting for the first time! It was SO FUN. And we went a couple more times. And we’re going tonight. We tracted this week to pass out Pageant cards. Our goal is 10 a day, but on good days, we get about 25-30. But tracting in Newark…is hilarious. We are rocking out to Kenneth Cope, driving down this pretty ghetto streets. (Tell him thank you!) We actually met a guy a few days ago while walking who kept going on and on about how awesome he thought we were–don’t worry he was completely drunk. We pass at least a few people every 10 minutes that are just struggling to get into their houses because they can’t walk straight. 🙂 Newark has it’s own personality, I can’t even compare it to anywhere in Utah. It’s fantastic. But why is it fantastic? Because all these people need our help! They need to hear the message we have to give them. Even though more than 75% tell us we’re complete idiots, I love it. We even ran into this guy who had lost both of his legs. He was so positive about it, and we ended up talking to him about the gospel for about half an hour! Hopefully we’ll see him at Pageant.

Thank you for the letters this week! And for the pictures! I actually put Jake’s picture of him catching a fish in my site Book of Mormon. That’s the book I take on all of my tours, and at least one person every tour asks what the pictures are on there. I sent you a picture of the back of the Book, but inside are a lot more spaces for pictures. They think that one is so cool! So keep sending me pictures–they’re going to use. And thank you for the Romney notes, Mom. I really loved reading them. Keep sending it! The whole time, I was just thinking how much the country of America is fulfilling prophesy right now. It is more spiritual than you can imagine. (Maybe because that’s I’m just spiritual 24/7!) But really, though. Do you realize how big of a deal the campaign is–regardless if he’s a Mormon or not? He’s someone who puts his trust in God. Prophesy is being fulfilled. I’m seeing so many doctrines of Christ in just your notes alone from the campaign. Read Mosiah 11:6, that’s the government today. And how long ago was that written? Exactly. Re-read your notes again and think about that! If you haven’t already. So please, keep sending me them. Even though I had the opportunity to be in Boston this summer, I feel like I’m doing a better work for the country as a whole here. It’s so exciting to be involved with the work, even though I don’t really know what’s going on temporally!

Well, Pageant is coming up. It’s going to be so awesome. I’m getting so excited! Yesterday, they started putting up the stage. It’s humongous. I’ll send pictures out today. The cast has kinda arrived, but they all arrive as a whole on Friday! All 900 of them. We get to speak to them all day on the 9th, 10th, and 11th. Non-stop workshops with the cast to prepare them to become missionaries. In preparing for that, I’m realizing more and more how the Atonement works. I know, you think they wouldn’t be related. But I’ve found that everything can be related to the Atonement. Because it doesn’t just take away your sins! It takes away stress, pain, feeling overwhelmed, business…EVERYTHING. He has taken any negative feeling you can ever imagine away from us. But. We have to accept the Atonement. Whenever we’re planning and I don’t know how we’re going to get everything in, I just quickly say sorry for anything I’ve ever done wrong, and then ask Him to help me. And seconds later, the overwhelming feeling turns into straight excitement! I think that is the main reason why I’m so happy this week. Last week was super tough. We had members pretty much telling us we weren’t missionaries because we don’t have nearly as many non-members as we do members. They ask who would visit Palmyra if they weren’t Mormon? I talked about it in President’s interview on Friday. He told it happened to him too–that even some mission presidents would come to this mission and say the same thing. (I was thinking, “President, get to your point here or this will make me more discouraged…” haha) Finally he got to his point, and he’s apparently gotten this straight from the Lord. He told me in a bold statement that if Satan can attack the place where it all started, he can attack anywhere he wants. And first, he’s going to attack the missionaries. He starts attacking us from the inside out, with feelings of inadequacy, stress, or just plain feelings of doubt. But just like Moroni is the keeper of the Plates, the missionaries in this mission are the keepers of the Restoration. We have to testify of truly what happened here. If we don’t, Satan has done his job. But we won’t let him succeed! We have to work even harder to get that message out. And we feel it’s working! I’m not saying this is the best mission in the world. (Even though I’m convinced it is!) Every single mission is just as hard. But like I said, doesn’t everyone go to the root of the problem before they try and stop or fix something? That’s exactly what Satan’s going to do. So–it’s hard. But it also is twice as rewarding because we have God on our team.

Well, I must go. I’m glad I got to get this much in! But the work is moving forward faster than it’s ever moving. It’s hard, but if it wasn’t hard, it wouldn’t be worth it. I love everything about this Church. It just…makes SENSE. Everything makes sense. It’s so logically correct. It’s so spiritually correct. I love everything about it.

I’m attaching a couple of pictures! The first one is of course self explanatory. Downtown Palmyra! Then the second is of me and Sister Jones. I love her so much. We knew each other before we came out. She’s so great! Mom and Dad, you’ll be getting my card with pictures at the end of this week probably. I’ll send it today. Thanks so much for all of your support. It means the world to me, really. You all are great. Keep moving forward!

BE HAPPY!

Sister HawkesImageImage

Miracles Everyday

Yeah, I’m pretty convinced I have the best mission in the world.Each mission around the world bears testimony of our mission every single day, if not every hour! It’s pretty surreal to be here and to witness really what happened in these areas. As Sister Missionaries, we have four different sites that we get to serve at. We switch off during the week. We also have site manuals for each of them. So as you can imagine..it’s a LOT of studying. I have learned more about church history in the past week that I have ever learned in my life. We’ve gone into some pretty great detail about the plates, about the life of Joseph Smith, the Whitmer family, and the Hill Cumorah itself. Really, if any of you have questions, please ask me because everything you would ever want to know is in those manuals.

I started out the week at the Hill Cumorah. We gave tours there, but not just tours. We get the opportunity to teach and bear testimony right where it all happened. Being able to stand on the exact hill where the plates were buried for over 1400 years is a miracle. I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky to be here.

The Joseph Smith Farm. What an amazing place. We get to teach members and non-members right in Smith Log Home, the Frame home that Alvin built and where Joseph hid the plates under the hearth, in the Cooper shop where Joseph hid the plates under the floorboards, and not to mention telling story after story about how miraculous the plates have been preserved. I love talking about it. I think my favorite part is going into the upstairs bedroom of the log home several times a day to witness that the angel Moroni came and spoke to Joseph Smith. That room is where the Book of Mormon was revealed, and where Joseph knew he was going to be a prophet. I can’t wait to take you guys back here! Not to mention the fields upon green fields that we drive through. It’s farmland EVERYWHERE. So gorgeous. I’m completely in heaven.

So, the Hill Cumorah pageant is coming up in a few weeks. We gave a presentation to our ward (the Lyons ward) on Sunday about inviting their friends. They looked pretty bored the whole meeting, haha. I tried to liven it up by doing some role-plays…hopefully that worked. We also have been passing out at least 10 pageant cards a day–just inviting people to the event. We went to Wal-Mart to find some people on Friday. Sister Correia was like, “K, Sister Hawkes. You take the first one.” So we’re walking in, and there’s an old man and his wife that come out. I go up to him, and I just said, “Hello sir!” He immediately put his hand up and shouted, “NO, NO! NOT YOU AGAIN!” hahaha apparently he hates the missionaries. It was hilarious. I tried to sweetly talk to him but he completely ignored me. It just made me determined to conquer Satan and whatever he puts in his path. So of course in Wal-Mart we found a couple in the cereal isle that looked pretty scruffy at first, but talking to them for about 15 minutes seemed to be pretty helpful. I was talking to the man while Sis. Correia was talking to his wife. He had been a Presbyterian, but really never went to church. After talking a few minutes, I asked him if he’s heard of the missionaries before. He said, “yeah, but I thought missionaries were weird. You aren’t weird!” He agreed to taking the missionary lessons, and we left with giving them both our number so they could call anytime they needed service. (We couldn’t get their number…hopefully we’ll get lessons with them sometime…) but it was really cool! Sometimes we can’t pass out anything in Wal-Mart, but if you do it discreetly…we can get away with it. Especially a couple of sister missionaries. They’re not going to say no to us! 🙂 We even got the ice-cream man in town to listen to what we had to say. He is a very nice fellow. Apparently he didn’t want to do anything with the missionaries either, but he told us we were normal! WOOT! So it’s been pretty successful. I’ve got several stories every day where God has put miracles in our path. I’ll share one more, then I must go!

We were working at the Grandin Building in downtown Palmyra on I think Thursday afternoon. Maybe Friday. All the days run together. Anyway. A Hispanic woman pulled me aside in the middle of the tour and asked if she could talk to me. Of course I said yes, and we just stepped outside while my companion took over. She began to tell me that she felt so strongly she needed to tell me something, but she wasn’t sure what. She said she had this overwhelming feeling that she needed to talk to me. So I didn’t really know what was going on….haha I just let her talk. To my knowledge, I wasn’t in need of anything at the time. She eventually just said, “You know, when I came and stood next to you for the first time, I had this explosion in my heart of love that you had for God, and that God had for you.” I immediately smiled super big and gave her the biggest hug. I said, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” haha I was really excited. She just laughed and started to cry in broken English and said, “yes. As soon as I got in your area, my heart just exploded.” My mind went straight to the day at the airport last Monday. We weren’t allowed to proselyte at the airport, so I said a quick prayer that someone would literally just see me or walk past me and feel the light of Christ. Well, this was the woman that did. I told her of that experience, and she just cried even more. It was a beautiful moment we had together, and I’m so thankful the Spirit reminded me of that prayer I had said just a few days before!

Missionary work is amazing. Things like that are happening every day. I do have to go, but just know that I love each of you so much! Your support means the world to me. (Speaking of that–Jake! I haven’t gotten a letter from you in a couple weeks! Come on dude!) Anyway, God bless this week and I will be moving the work forward with a smile on my face!

BE HAPPY!
Sister Hawkes

Keep on Swimming! … or walking

This week has been a challenge.

We’ve had lots of tours at the sites, and not a lot of time in our area. Which makes me kinda sad. I want so badly to be knocking doors, going house to house, and just introducing myself to people! However. The sites can get really fun. We do meet a TON of people a day. But during the Summer, there are so many members on family vacations here. We do our best to strengthen their testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

We did get a new investigator, though! His name is Steve. He’s wonderful…I can tell already. He has read the Bible forwards and backwards and has zero religious background. We introduced him to the Book of Mormon and he was super excited that there was another testament of Christ! So hopefully he reads it by Friday. In those small conversations we have with people, those are the rewarding times. God knows I’m doing a greater work for Him and I can feel Him rewarding me for that.

I’m sorry this e-mail is going to be short. We don’t have a lot of time. In fact, we will not have a Preparation Day for a few weeks because of the Pageant! So if I don’t e-mail you, don’t freak out. I already don’t have enough time to think! But I SO much appreciate all the letters I’ve been sent. They really make my day and support me more than you think! Especially this week. I’ve had to pick myself up a lot. (Surprising, I know. 🙂 My companion has been pretty sick and I think that was most of it. It just goes to show that the Lord’s work is a two-person job! You can’t do anything in life without someone there to help you up. Whether that be a friend, a spouse, or even Jesus Christ. I’ve gotten so close to Sister Correia this week and I think that’s been the biggest blessing. There are lots of challenges in missionary work, but it’s all worth it. 🙂 I love her as my own sister. We get along so well.

Anyway, this morning we went on a 3-hour Sacred Grove tour with Bob the grove keeper! It was just us and another companionship. It was INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait to take you guys back there. There literally was 3 hours worth of amazing information about the grove…don’t worry, I wrote it all down! You’re going to love all these tours that I’ll take you on in a couple years. I’ve only been here a couple weeks, and the stories upon stories I’ve learned make the Joseph Smith story that much miraculous. I can’t wait to show it to my family!

Well, time has run out. We are going to the temple today for the first time in Palmyra, and we’ve got lots of Cast Training to do for the Pageant. I don’t usually ask for things, but keep us NYRM missionaries in your prayers. We’re going to need it the next month. Thank you for all of your prayers already…I can feel them! You all are the best. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Love you all.

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes