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!