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!
Sister Hawkes

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