“Enthusiasm Overcomes All Obstacles”

That’s a quote I heard in Sacrament meeting and decided it was going to be my new mission/life motto.

en-thu-si-asm: noun 
   1. absorbing or controlling possession of the mind by any interest or pursuit; lively interest.

Now what are we supposed to have enthusiasm for? Here are some examples: The gospel, family, talents, happiness…oh and life! Being excited about everything makes it fun to look forward to anything. Honestly, when I think of that word, I think of my mother. Everything she talks about it’s like we found a cure for cancer. To be that excited about life makes it all worth it. Especially from her last letter. Fighting to keep freedom in our country as set by the prophets from the Book of Mormon is probably the most exciting thing that’s ever happened. Mom, I am SO PROUD of you! What you’re doing for our country can’t be replicated. See what enthusiasm does? That enthusiasm you have for keeping your children free has obviously overflowed to the rest of the nation. The whole point of war in the Book of Mormon was to keep the freedom in order to worship our Lord. That’s the reason we need to keep fighting. You have made everyone that comes in contact with you excited about our goal of freedom. Check out Ephesians 6:10-24–I’m shocked that’s not quoted in your Patriarchal blessing. With enthusiasm comes faith, hope, charity, and love. I couldn’t think of a better person to be called to what you do for this world. 

This week, we volunteered at the Wayne County Golden Olympics! Most of our zone did, actually. We took a cute old man around named Patrick, who even requested a good smack on the lips when he won his first blue ribbon! It was definitely entertaining. I don’t know how much excitement I could have about a bean bag toss or nail pounding. Again, I learn so much from people being enthusiastic about anything that’s put in their path. Even though sometimes you have to fake it, you just fake it ’till you make it. It always works. So for Sister Graham’s first week, we have done SO MUCH after putting that into play. We got 4 new investigators, tried to learn all the historical site information at once, called referrals, met with the bishop, had dinner with members, etc, along with working our shifts at the sites. We’ve done a lot of “baptism by fire” with her…and she’s dominating a mission. I learn so much more from her than she learns from me. We get each other motivated every morning by having a solid personal and companion study with no distractions. Let me tell you it’s hard work, but it’s so worth it. We only get 18 months to do this. We better do it right. 

One big miracle I had this week was kind of personal. But I want to share it because it meant so much to me. Growing up in the Church, it’s harder to see the difference between a prompting from the Spirit and your own mind. I had been asking Heavenly Father to help me see the difference so missionary work can become better and better. This week, I’ve been noticing in my tours/lesons that I say things I don’t usually say, and that the spirit is not only there when I do that, but it’s presence fills the room. It’s impossible for people to not feel it. And since the sites are slower, we’re able to go with our companions and teach together. And that brings the Spirit more than anything. Pretty much, Heavenly Father is telling me, “Just chill out. I’m always here.” I’ve learned that if we’re set apart as missionaries, He answers our prayers a lot faster just because we have so much to accomplish of His work in a short amount of time. It’s just like “get on with it already so we can do this work together.” He’s a great Father. 🙂

Exercise update: I’m jump-rope champion! Just kidding. But I think I’ve mastered that thing more than Rocky Balboa. Sister Graham and I are working up a storm in the morning with me and my jump-rope and her and her weights…enough for a lady walking her dog to say, “what are you two training for?” “Nothing! We’re just missionaries!” Awesome introduction to the Church, right? Probably the best purchase I made before my mission. Besides my scriptures…

Time is running out! Today for P-day we’re walking around Canandaigua lake with the sisters that live there. I’m attaching a picture from Wednesday of all of us Site Sisters and couples. We are the biggest sisterhood I’ve ever been in and I would jump in front of a train for any one of these girls. Mom and Dad, you’re really going to have to drag me out of this place when the time comes. I’m absorbing every minute. Thanks for everything! Love you all!

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes

p.s. YOU CHEERED FOR MY COUGARS!!! Now keep doing it! Also a huge congrats to Utah State in that game against that one school…good work.

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