With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Thank you all for your e-mails and letters! I have felt so much love here in my first week as a missionary. What an incredible opportunity to serve the Lord. I have been given everything and more, and I only hope that this small 18 month mission can be enough to give thanks to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. My focus this week has been imagining Jesus Christ as a literal older brother…someone I can laugh with, cry with, confide in, and look up to. It has been a miracle for me to visualize him in every aspect of my day. This work is truly the Lord’s.
 
Wow…I am still completely speechless. Having a nametag on, seeing other Elders and Sisters in the work is truly remarkable. One of my favorite parts of the day (besides personal study…it goes way too fast) is walking into building 1M and seeing hundreds of missionaries gathered, having the line repeated in my head…”A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the Children of Men.” On Sunday, we had a devotional with Elder Rasband. We sang Called To Serve for him, and there was not a dry eye in the house. Every missionary and member present sang with their loudest voices and the spirit bore witness to each one of us that we were all here for a purpose.
 
Another miracle I’ve experienced is reading the Book of Mormon. During study time and personal time, I make sure to say a little prayer before studying. It helps me focus and really dig deep. I started this last Friday, and have already gotten halfway through the Book of Mormon! I am grinding every piece of information out of this book. Who knew so much was packed in such a thing? It is incredible. That’s my advice…pray before you read. This book is true. Read Ezekiel 37:16-19 about the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph, and help yourself understand how much the Bible and the Book of Mormon go together. In Ephesians 4:5, it states, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” There is only one true church, and only one straight line between two points. This church is the truth. It’s such a miracle to feel “smart” in lessons because I know where scriptures are, and I know when to use them. However, it’s not me that’s smart. It’s the Spirit that is bringing everything I have studied to my rememberance. Learning everything I have about missionary work in the Book of Mormon, the subject of this e-mail keeps coming to my mind. We really have so much power given to us, but it’s up to us to help the Lord. He can’t do it alone, and neither can we. It’s such a blessing that He has allowed us to take part in such a marveous work.
 
I HAVE to tell you about our investigator. What’s great about the MTC is we have role-play where we teach our teachers who pretend to be investigators, and go through the steps to baptism with them. But then a few times a week, we get to have TRC where volunteers…members AND non-members come in. The person we are teaching is a non-member. Her name is Kexin (Ca-sheen), she is from China, and was seeking American schools to further her education. She found the Honor Code at BYU and felt that’s where she needed to be. She then explained she met a friend in her Intro to LDS class who came to volunteer and meet the missionaries at the MTC. She said he’s never been happier, and she wanted to come try it too. Sister Smith and I have the privledge to teach her for the first time, as this is her first week. We are in our second lesson with her, we already explained the Plan of Salvation, and you should see the look in her face. She thought God was a judger with a gavel, and always was grumpy. We explained to her that He has more love than we can ever imagine, and that He is waiting with open arms for her to come back home. She caught fire. She’s been studying like crazy…and I invited her to say the closing prayer yesterday. She prayed just like she was talking to her own father. She was giggly when she so graciously thanked the sisters for coming to the MTC to teach her (she said Elders are scary 🙂 and she hoped she could learn the right way to come back into His arms and be with Him again in the Celestial Kingdom. I have honestly never smiled so big in my entire lifetime. Sister Smith and I, after the lesson, we were on cloud nine. Please continue to pray for her, as she truly came here to Provo inspired of God.
 
So, I was called as Coordinating Sister! That means I get to go to all of the meetings with the ZL’s. (I suddenly feel bad for every ZL, DL, EQ pres…everything) because we go to SO MANY MEETINGS. But it’s really nice to be a part of it. Last week, we had a meeting in the conference room with the MTC Presidency. Then after hours of more meetings, we got to take the new Elders in our zone yesterday on a tour, and then to another conference room to explain the rules of the MTC. Um…I completely threw it down to them. There are some new Elders that don’t want to be here. Yes, with the Branch Presidency and the ZL’s in the room, they gave me the floor (as the only sister in the room by the way) to share my thoughts on how we can improve our Branch. I STRESSED personal study time. I explained to them exactly what dad explained…you are on the Lord’s time. He is your boss. Never be in the “nothing box.” You better dare not waste any of this precious time. If you have 5 minutes, open your Book of Mormon. We are not here to take naps. We are here to learn as much as we can, because you’ll wish you would have by the time you get in your lesson. And so on and so forth as I stared at them straight in the eye…this morning I said hi to the new Elders at breakfast, all of them looked up and pretty much had a unision “Hi Sister Hawkes.” I literally thought they were all going to salute me. It was pretty hilarious. I hope they get it! Or they will be miserable! 
 
Well, I think that’s it for this week. Thanks mom, for the book of pictures! I just got it a few minutes ago. I will go finish writing people back by hand…we only have 30 minutes on the computers! There is SO much I want to tell you, but I don’t have enough time. I just know I’m going to be one of those missionaries who talks about their mission every 5 minutes. I’m sorry in advance. I’m also sorry I’m not homesick. I do love you all, but I would be so miserable if I was home. I was meant to go on a mission. The Lord has been preparing me silently for this calling…I can feel that daily. It’s amazing. Like I said, I’m speechless. Thank you all for your support, and I’m so happy to be here!
 
BE HAPPY!
 
Sister Hawkes
 
 
 
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