The things you can do in seven days.

…And she’s baptized! This is the best. TWO in one week?!
Anne got baptized yesterday…she invited some of her family that she thought would never come–and they came. They’re self-proclaimed “die-hard baptists,” but they came to support her in her decision. This was a huge step for her and them, because like I just mentioned, she grew up in the Baptist church. Everything she knows is the Baptist church. But when we started to teach her, she said there were holes being filled in that she didn’t even know were there. Anyway, the whole thing went extremely smooth. Compared to last week! Anne even asked me to sing and play something on the piano, so I sang “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” It went a lot better than I had planned, I think just because the Spirit was so strong. However, the moment that topped everything yesterday, was when her new Visiting Teacher was speaking about the ordinance of baptism. At the moment she told Anne that this decision would continue to change her life, I had my arm around her, and she just put her head down and squoze her little fingers into her eyes and just cried. She was so happy. She IS so happy. She got up to bear her testimony after everything was done, and sounded more eloquent than I’ve ever heard her talk before. She was the calmest I’ve ever seen her, the happiest I’ve ever seen her, and the most powerful I’ve ever seen her. I can’t begin to even comprehend the things that I’m witnessing right now. I can’t believe I just assisted Heavenly Father to bring Him two of his most precious daughters.

We also had Mission President interviews this week. It was really good to just sit down and talk to President Christianson. He is the most kind and powerful, calm and enthusiastic man I’ve ever met. I haven’t ever seen anyone so engulfed in the work that he has to do. He puts his absolute heart and soul into everything. He is what I think of when I think of keeping an “eye single to the glory.” He has turned down extremely presitious job offers, sacrificed his health, and has even missed his own father’s funeral to be here serving Him with us. He is what a Mission President is supposed to be. We do get a new one in June, and all of us are pretty nervous, because we don’t know how this new guy will top President Christianson! But President Christianson affirms and re-affirms us that whoever has the duty to take over the Cradle of the Restoration after he leaves will take it to a whole new level. I trust him. We just want to know who it is! That’s another thing that missionaries are always talking about: who the new mission president is going to be, and especially what is going to happen at transfers. Ha! Like I said, it was good to sit and talk to President..because he gave me some of the details about what’s going to happen. Seriously, if you ask him, he will tell you anything. I told him that I would give anything to stay in Brockport as long as I can. He said, “I know, I know. I would give anything for you to stay in Brockport for the rest of your mission. That ward is going to kill me if I take you out of there. But I have to close two sisters’ areas, and bring in 20 new missionaries and their trainers, so it’s not looking good.” NOOOO. So don’t be surprised in a few weeks when I (might) get transferred. Again. I hate that. But for more of an explaination, he needs to close two sisters areas, because we’ve got 10 new sisters coming next transfer, and he needs me to train again…and I have to train at the sites. Plus, being a cast trainer I have to be within 15 minutes of Palmyra to prepare for Pageant 2013. It’s complicated–I don’t even know half the stuff that goes on at transfers–but I know it’s all up to the Lord. You should expect it though, because when President Monson announced the age change, this is the after-effects! In total, we are opening up 17 new areas this next transfer alone, and our mission is expected to double by the end of this year. Prepare yourselves, people of New York, the missionaries are coming!

Anyway, now it’s back to square one. Right now we’ve got like half of an investigator. Ha. After focusing so much on these two baptisms, we haven’t had as much time as we’d like to find people. So, now is the time to do it! Finding people is always interesting, especially since tracting is now discouraged. We visit a lot of less-actives and a lot of the time, and somehow, their friends are there who want to learn. Imagine that! We’re going to keep trying that, street contacting, and especially getting involved in the community is a great way to find. The phrase, “Teach when you find, and find when you teach,” always goes through my mind when we are walking down streets. (Obviously it’s been in the teens, so it’s been too cold to walk for long hours everyday.) We have to always have our armor of God put on correctly so we can constantly be doing what Christ would do.
January has gone by extremely slow, so I’m hoping February will move a lot faster. My mind plays a lot of tricks on me, sometimes I feel like I’m in a dream, and then the next moment I feel like my previous high school/college life was a dream. It’s so weird. I don’t even have time to think about myself, so I think that’s why everything is just moving under me. I feel like I’m on a treadmill that I can’t get off. I don’t realize the importance of things until they are either in the moment or past–so that’s something I’m working on. Realizing. Comprehending. Understanding. I honestly don’t think I will until I grow up a little bit more. I found a set of scriptures from D&C 123 that I think describes perfectly what I’m trying to accomplish: 
 11 And also it is an imperative duty that we owe to all the rising generation, and to all the pure in heart—
 12 For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—
 13 Therefore, that we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven—
 17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
He’s right. We OWE this work to everyone. Everyone needs what we have, even though they don’t realize it. We have to work harder than we’ve ever worked in our lives…there is no “going home at the end of the day.” We take our work home with us. This is 24/7, giving 100%, for 18 months to 2 years. That’s why it says, “waste and wear out our lives.” Believe me, I’m going to throw myself on my couch the second I walk into my house in October…I’m going to be exahusted. However, now is the time for me to work, and to work cheerfully. We have to make this happy, or else it’s completely pointless. There is no reason in doing this unless someone gets joy out of it.
What a great week, and what a great time to be in the mission field! I LOVE being a missionary, and I love you all!

Hermana Hawkes


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