“Batter Up!”

“When I do the best I can–when I am accomplishing the greatest good, then the most evils are got up against me.” -Joseph Smith

We’ve had some interesting days this past week. I don’t know how to explain why the persecution is so rough on members of the church. Not only has it happened to us, it’s happened to recent converts, long-time members, and even those investigating the church. I always wondered why missionaries said they came home exhausted each night. They said the moment you drop your head on your pillow, you don’t remember anything until 6:30 the next morning.  It’s because you’re combating the devil all…day…long. I’ve probably wrote home about this more than once, but I think I’ve had more strengths I’ve gained within the past week that I want to share.

In the exact moment of persecution, I just want to break down and cry. I don’t know how else to describe it. Someone, even maybe someone that you’ve grown to love, is not only cutting you down, but is ripping apart your Best Friend. Personally, I’d rather have them take a million jabs at me than one at my Savior. But, I can’t just cry–and I don’t just cry. It takes a whole lot of tounge-biting and trying to show an increase of love to those who don’t seem to care. I’ve noticed the moments that I’m putting my whole heart into the work are the moments that Satan tries to stop it. When we have a great companionship study, those people always seem to cancel the appointment. When I make new personal goals, he then attacks from the inside by telling me I can’t do it. In all reality, it’s a blessing, because I’m growing closer to the Savior each and every time that happens. In fact, in Teachings of Joseph Smith, it states, “The enemy of truth opposes the servants of the Lord, especially as they grow closer to the Savior.” Right there–point blank. As we testify against the adversary, it actually glorifies Christ. In our last Zone Conference in speaking about it, President said, “The prophets Adam up until Joseph Smith were merely spectators. Now, you and I get to play in the game. In fact, you know why I loved to play third base? Because I got to get in the heads of the other team. ‘Come on…HIT ME.” (Zone Conference is really half-time pep-talks. All of us just want to knock every house down when President is done with us.) He was relating it to the past prophets who have prophesied of the latter-days, but now, there is no more prophesying of the day. We’re finally in it. The Lord has been hastening His work only because this has been the time set aside from the beginning of the world to do the Work. I’m super excited the ball is now finally being hit to me. Not only do I catch it, I throw it to first faster than they can run it…every single time. It’s a good thing I got myself in shape, or I’d be benched in the top of the second.

Exercise update: We got some $5 Jillian Michaels videos at Wegman’s that have been kicking our…well, yeah. I am so sore. Those muscles are finally coming out from hibernation!  Since I’ve been in Brockport I’ve been super motivated to workout for those six days a week. Hopefully I can keep it up until I can get to a real gym in October! Plus we are trying to walk as much as possible since we got cut 200 miles, and our area that we work in (Albion) is half an hour away. We also have to go to Palmyra a few times this month, and then transfer meeting on the 19th, when my lovely Nicaraguan companion is going back to her homeland! So yes–lots of walking. Oh, and calf raises when we wait at doorsteps. But that’s a different story.

WOW, I love being a missionary. How is this even reality? Especially in this weather, I feel as if I have stepped into a utopian snow globe. I also think my competitive nature makes me enjoy it even more…I want to punch the lights out of Satan. When deciding if I should serve a mission or not (which took me about 10 minutes, by the way) I read D&C 4, “If ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work.” Desire? Check. That’s all anyone needs. Plain and simple.
 
That’s really it for this week, I wish I could just take a snapshot of a day in Brockport and send it all to you. It is absolutely incredible. The trees covered with snow, blue skies, and nothing to do but preach the gospel. This is the life. Hope you all have a great week!
 
BE HAPPY!
 
Hermana Hawkes
 
p.s. Again, feel free to add me on Facebook under my missionary account. We are encouraged to post uplifting, inspiring thoughts regularly…I just can’t write you back. Thanks!
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