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

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