New Mission Address

So… Monica isn’t actually running this blog (as she’s on a mission) but I am. (This is her sister, Sarah.)

If you guys don’t know me, I’ll just tell you a little something about me: I’m incompetent when it comes to blogs. And thus, I have absolutely no clue how to change the side bar to show her new mission address. After fifteen minutes of trying to figure it out, I figured that I would just post the address until I could get an expert’s help. A.k.a, my mom.

Monica’s address is 

529 Miller #1

Newark, NY  

14513

Humility

Is it P-day already? Weeks go by SO FAST. But days go by sooo slooowww.

 
Good news–this week we have three more new investigators! It’s amazing what the Lord puts in your path when you’re working hard to obey Him. Imagine that!
We were going through our area book to find potentials and we came across a guy named Mark. We called him and he accepted us to come over, then actually tracted his house a couple of days before not knowing it was him, then a couple of days after that was the first appointment! And even better news, he had two friends over when we got there. Coincidence? I think not! We all sat down and had a fantastic lesson. His friends were already so open and humble with what they were thinking, not even knowing that missionaries were coming over. We had a great 45 minute lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they all said they were looking for something more. We set a return appointment for Thursday–with all of them. The huge lesson I got out of that myself, was actually how humble they were to be willing to share the desires of their hearts with us, and already knew that they needed to change. Humility has been on my mind ever since. That just shows us how willing we have to be to give up our desires to God. I’ve gotten a taste of it in missionary work: All we want to do is grab our investigators by the shoulder and say, ” trust us! Hello, we’re not stupid! This can save your life! But yet, they have the free agency to do whatever they want. Doesn’t God think the exact same thing about us?
At the Smith Farm on Sunday, a guy (we’ll call him John) about 25 years old came in with an older man (we’ll call him George) from one of the Syracuse wards. Sister Chatterton, our site trainer, took them both on tour. She came back with the biggest eyes and told us why they were both here. Apparently a few days ago John was talking to a member of the church without knowing he was a member and said, “You know what I want? I want to find out what to believe for myself. I just want to find the true church that Jesus Christ set up, restored to the earth today.” As you would imagine I’m sure he jumped out of his chair and said “THIS IS IT!” Long story short–the member told John where the closest congregation of the LDS church was, and he showed up right on time dressed perfectly. He met George there and George told him that the historic sites where the church was actually restored was just a couple hours away. George invited him to go sometime this week, and John said, “well why don’t we just go right now?” So then that’s when I met them and they pulled up to the Smith Farm–just two hours previous. Sister Chatterton’s tour was fantastic and I’m excited to hear what eventually happens with John! Little miracles like that keep us going every single day at the Visitors’ Center. It’s a challenge in it’s own to be at the HCVC, because we don’t have 5 seconds to prepare a lesson for the people walking in. We have to discern their needs quickly, and then the Lord can pull from our bank of gospel knowledge to find something to teach them. When we are proselyting missionaries, we have at least a few hours to come up with something! But here at the sites, it’s within seconds. It’s so exciting that way, and looking back on whatever I taught someone, I can definitely see the Lord’s hand in His work.
Just when I think I can’t get more happy, I do. I’m going to be honest, there are times when Sister Correia and I just want to fall over and quit right there on the sidewalk. But at the end of the day when I thank my Father for everything he’s done that day for me–wow it adds up to much more than I could ever thank Him for. What other time in my life can I spend this much time in such a sacred place? I am (again) humbled, and have (again) realized that nothing is about me at all. Absolutely nothing. That reminds me of the scripture in Matthew 16:25, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.”
Thanks for all of your prayers and letters, I promise I’m getting back to you all soon! I am SO EXCITED that Nicole is going on study abroad to Jerusalem–two siblings in places where the gospel started, and where it was restored. That’s a blessing! I hope you all have a wonderful first week of school. Sarah and Jake–don’t forget to sharpen your pencils! 🙂
BE HAPPY!
Sister Hawkes

Hard, But Successful Week!

REBECCA IS ONE OF US!!! Just had to give a shout-out to my best friend Reb who just got to the MTC on Wednesday. I am so excited! (And you’re welcome for the package 🙂

So this week…I honestly can’t really remember what happened. So much in so little time. Hopefully if I just keep typing, I’ll think of something to write. Anyway, we started at the Peter Whitmer Farm in Fayette. I had a couple of non-members that just “drove past” and wanted to stop in. (This place is out in the middle of nowhere.) I wanted to squeeze them and say, “that was the SPIRIT!” …but I didn’t. I held my Christlike composure. I took them through the home, and shared the First Vision. They looked at me like I had just given them a new car. It was absolutely wonderful. They each took a Book of Mormon and (hopefully) they’ll read it. That was 2 out of 4 people that I taught the whole day. It was really slow, but I got lots of studying in. I probably read half of Jesus the Christ. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but I definitely grew 1,000% closer to the Savior just by reading about Him.

The rest of our week was filled with proselyting and working shifts at the sites. I saw the newlyweds Sarah and Brian at the Farm! That was really fun to see them. I also had lots of good tours on the farm, too. I still am trying to wrap my head around the fact that I get to teach at the Sacred Grove pretty much everyday. That makes our job so much easier. However, it doesn’t make the proselyting easier. It is so hard because of all the history there. Yesterday, I got an Anti at the Hill Cumorah. I don’t mind so much talking to them, but it’s the fact that my heart just hurts for them. Even hours after they leave, I wish so badly I could do something. But I can’t at all. I want them to realize how great this Gospel is for them. That’s the hard part. Even tracting yesterday, we got slammed doors and the famous line, “I’m all set.” Do you people not realize the blessings you could have? I just don’t understand.

Awesome thing yesterday while tracting though…I we met a nice woman from Honduras named Estella, but I called her “Estalita” and she just loved it. She didn’t speak too much English, so I spoke to her in Spanish. When I started speaking en Espanol, she got so excited. I can’t speak that much, but oh my goodness, how the Holy Ghost brings things to your remembrance. (I may or may not have been studying Spanish pamphlets…) I knew everything she was saying and I could respond in a way that brought the Spirit. She told me she was Catholic, and she appreciated us coming over, but she was in and out of the hospital with knee problems. I told her a little about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. She loves Jesus Christ, so I played up on that. I happenedto have a Spanish Book of Mormon in my backpack, so I took it out and gave it to her and told her this was another testament of Jesus Christ in Central America and North America. She put up her hand and said, “oh I’m sorry, I don’t have any money.” Sister Correia understood that in Spanish and she’s like, “OH IT’S FREE!” haha she said, “en serio??” and I told her that our job is to invite others to Christ and I really wanted her to have this book that testified of Him. She was so excited. We set up a return appointment! When we walked away, we were a few steps off her lawn, and I looked back, and she was still standing in the same position just staring at this Book. I could see her mouthing, “Otro Testamento de JesuCristo” with a huge smile on her face. It made my whole week! There are so many Latinos in Newark–I wish I could teach them all. My Spanish is only good enough for a first visit. But good news, I’m going on Spanish exchanges on Friday! Sister Torres (from Nicaragua) and I are going all day tracting from our Spanish Area Book that we found in our apartment from Newark. Sent from God? I think so. Sister Correia found it in one of the closets…”SISTER HAWKES! A SPANISH AREA BOOK!” (Obviously she gets excited about everything. I love her.) But of course, I get excited about everything too so we had a little dance party in our living room. (And yes, dancing is not missionary-appropriate but it only lasted about 10 seconds.) It was awesome. Hopefully Friday will go well!

That’s all I have for this week. We aren’t doing anything terribly exciting today for P-day, because I am playing 2 musical numbers at Zone Conference and Site Meeting tomorrow, accompanying another musical number, and playing all the hymns…so I’ve got lots of practicing to do. And grocery shopping. And haircuts. And washing cars. Anyway, thanks again for all of your prayers support. I love being a missionary.

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes

Conquer This Place or Die

And it just keeps getting better! This week we were blessed with four new investigators.

But…sorry to burst your bubble…none of them showed up to Church. HA. It’s okay–we’ll get them soon. One of them we are taking to the Sacred Grove tomorrow. How cool is it that we get to say, “hey, you wanna go to the Sacred Grove? Okay great. Wednesday? Awesome.”

I LOVE MY MISSION.

This week I was studying in Alma 56 about Helaman’s state of war with the Lamanites. That guy is never going to give up. When I read v. 16–I thought of missionary work. 🙂 “Yea, and they were depressed in body as well as in spirit, for they had fought valiantly by day and toiled by night to maintain their cities; and thus they had suffered great afflictions of every kind.” Then in v. 17, “And now they were determined to conquer in this place or die…” Helaman was so proud of his strong warriors. They were young and had huge hearts. That’s exactly what we need to do. We can’t give up because the Lord is counting on us. Wherever He places us in life, it’s the most opportunity for missionary work. So your job is to conquer in [that] place or die, whether you’re serving a full-time mission or not.

I get to fight and conquer with 35 of my closest sisters, 20 sets of grandparents, a mom and a dad, and my huge support system back home. We had a Site BBQ last week for site meeting and President just told us to look out over the grove. It was sunset, and he told us to take a huge mental landscape picture so we would never forget it. I was squished up with all of my sisters, just looking out over the most sacred place in the United States. (According to President Hinckley!) I am so lucky to have this place to conquer, just like Moroni did. We have the exact same mission location! I think of the characters in the Book of Mormon a lot. The things they did, the things they saw, and especially the things they wrote were key to having the fullness of the gospel in the Latter days. We would not be in this place if it wasn’t for the bravery and courage of each one of those men. But wait! In v. 47 and 48–it was all because of their mothers. If they didn’t have their mothers by their side, they wouldn’t have had that bravery. In the margins next to that, I wrote “Parenting 101.” This is exactly how I need to raise each of my children. As weird as it seems–as much as I think about the Book of Mormon characters, I think of the kids I’m going to be stuck with! Just kidding, not stuck with. I’ll be stuck with them if I don’t do my job. I NEED to do my job as a mother to teach them all how to be servants of the Lord. I can’t force them to believe. But I can show them by example. I keep remembering the quote by President Hinckley that I shared a few letters back. It’s really the job of mothers now to raise the Priesthood army. Especially the women who have been called to serve missions. Not that we are above the rest, I just don’t know where I would be with even these three months of a mission under my belt. I think a lot about how I’m going to raise those kids and realize how much it will be in the Lord–all due to my mission so far. It’s a long journey ahead of me, but with all the instruction and blessings I’ve been given, it’s the only thing I can do.

I’ve had lots of neat experiences this week, but none that stick out of the ordinary amazing mission life. Saturday we went tracting for a few hours in Clifton Springs and we got rejected each and every time. However, on the way home, we were singing at the top of our lungs in the car with the windows down because we were so happy. Did we just get dumped? Yes! But we knew that we worked our hardest and the Lord, in His own due time, would bring to remembrance what we had said to those people.

Personal study this week has been through the roof. I’ve studied just basic doctrines from PMG, but then it ends up being a deep doctrinal study and I understand it on a level I’ve never experienced before. I thought I had a strong testimony before. But whatever it was, it wasn’t this! Every single day I am building a relationship with my Heavenly Father and with Jesus Christ. I know that the windows of my mind are open to my understanding while I’m set apart on this mission, so I’m trying to write everything down that I learn in my study journal so I don’t forget anything.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and your letters–they mean a lot. It’s so fun to see at least one person I know each week at one of the sites. It makes me feel like I’m not in a dream, and that I’ll make it more a reality throughout the rest of my life. I really can’t imagine what I would have done if I didn’t decide to come here. Now we are off to the lighthouse at Sodus Point to have a picnic with our Nima’s Calzones. 🙂 Google the place, you’ll be jealous!

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes