This week has been full of “Prove me now’s” from Heavenly Father. Before I get started, let’s take a look at Malachi 3:10.
10–“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
On Monday and Tuesday we had a Mission Tour with Elder Anthony Perkins of the Seventy. He and his wife came to the mission for a couple of days to speak to the whole mission! Sister Graham and I were lucky enough to get to go to both, because she had to ASL Interpret at Monday’s conference, and I had to do the musical number on Tuesday. (I sang and played ‘We’ll Bring the World His Truth.) We even got to eat lunch with him–at the same table–and quiz him for 45 minutes! Whether he liked it or not…:) He was an Area Authority in Asia, so he was telling us how the Chinese characters relate pretty much exactly to the gospel. For example: The Chinese character for ‘righteous’ has a lamb above something describing “me,” or “I.” So having Christ above us teaches us to be righteous! There is no coincidence–this is the truth. Anyway, at the beginning of each session, Elder Perkins asked us to write a couple of questions down that could be answered throughout the day. I’ll again be personal because it’s just that cool to let you know what happened. These are just a couple of questions I had:
Q1: How can I make each lesson at the sites different, bring the spirit in, while saying the same history over and over?
A1: Bear my testimony A LOT. That is something different that I can bring the spirit with while never saying the same words over and over.
Q2: How can I raise children to be missionaries?
A2: 2 Nephi 25:26.
These are questions that I’ve had for awhile, but have never really asked directly. Since I’ve never really asked directly, I’ve never gotten a direct answer. It’s always been a “kinda sorta” answer. DUH! I am not kidding you, he addressed each of these things like it was a slap in the face answer. Lesson to be learned: If you want an answer, ask Him! I’ve experimented with this a lot now and it totally works. Not that I never got any answers before, but this is crystal clear. That was my first “prove me now” moment.
So I decided to take my new found answers to the test on Tuesday afternoon for another “prove me now” moment. A couple from Canada that were non-members walked into the HCVC during our shift. I treated them like I would any other person and was so excited to tell them about the gospel. They recognized that I was a normal person when they asked me about my family life, and what I wanted to do when I got home from my mission. When I said I wanted to work at the capitol in DC and then continue my job at BYUtv Sports, that made them listen to me that much more and trust me. I explained the Apostasy and why the Restoration needed to happen, and then I took them in to see the new Restoration video that was filmed at the sites last year, which explains everything. I took them out of the movie and they had half an hour worth of questions. “So you believe in eternal marriage? Who is the prophet today? Why do you do missionary work?” And my absolute favorite question to answer, “What does the temple look like inside?” Now if that’s not bearing your testimony frequently, I don’t know what is. Finally, to make my point clear, I asked them how they know they live in Canada. They answered of course because someone told them they do, there are signs everywhere, and they have a piece of paper that tells them they live there. Well isn’t this gospel the same thing? I am telling them it’s true, there are signs everywhere, and the Book of Mormon is not just a piece of paper, it’s a book that tells them it’s true. I think that’s what caught their attention and kept on asking me more questions. They were extremely nice, and left with their own copy of the Book of Mormon. I hope to see them someday teaching the Gospel with me in the spirit world!
And it doesn’t end there! Another wonderful man, Bud, decided to take a visit on his trip from Rochester to Kansas. (Note: Kansas is in the opposite direction…) He had a great white beard, coke bottle glasses, had southern accent, was a United Methodist, and…looked kinda lost. Well, that confirmed my thought when he said, “Sister Hawkes, I think I’m lost.” I turned it around (kinda jokingly) with, “Well Bud, I can help you find your way in more ways than one!” He just looked at me (not jokingly anymore) and said, “I know, that’s why I stopped here.” I then told him about the Apostasy and then about the importance of the Book of Mormon. These were his exact words: “Well, I better get myself a copy of that thing and study it like I do the Bible!” After talking for a bit, he wanted to watch that Restoration video and noted at the end that he felt something different, and he wasn’t sure if it was only temporary. I told him that he could have this feeling forever if he prayed sincerely about the Book of Mormon and to know if what he heard that day was true. He accepted the missionaries to visit him at his house in Kansas, and I hope what he learned at the Visitors’ Center will change his life forever.
I have a few other “prove me now” moments that I’ll save for next week’s letter. Sorry this letter is so late–like I said–we had the Mission Tour on Monday and Tuesday, so our P-day was switched to today. Out of the many things I’ve learned this week, the main thing that I’ve been learning over and over again is that Preach My Gospel is the handbook to life. I could not get a better rock foundation than serving a mission. The catch there is, though, that the only way to get that rock foundation is to work hard. If I’m not working hard and being obedient…that rock turns to sand. It would have been better if I hadn’t come on a mission in the first place. Sister Graham and I joke now that we’re “working hard to be awesome.” 🙂 I’m so grateful to Preach My Gospel and how much it lets the Spirit direct the work. He is definitely the senior companion, and will be for my entire lifetime.
Thanks again for all of your prayers on behalf of the missionaries; the work really is progressing faster and faster. The Lord will be coming very soon, so now is the time to turn to Him. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Do it now. You’ll experience more joy than you have ever imagined every single day if you keep those simple commandments. I love you all, and have a wonderful week!