Changing of the Guard

It is President Christianson’s last week in office. President Francis gets here on Monday!

While we watched the biggest zone conference of our lives on Sunday with Elder Holland conducting, we saw the camera pan over President Francis and his wife. All of us missionaries felt it–it was a rush of peace knowing that he was the man for the job. It’s been hard to watch President Christianson give his “last” everything, but the Spirit has quickly and quietly testified to all of us that President Francis will bring the Cradle of the Restoration to a whole new level. It was a small miraculous act that I’m sure the producers and directors of the meeting didn’t know they were doing.


Now, I can’t blow past talking about the meeting and not still be in complete awe. I don’t know if I’ve expressed this–I know I have to my family–but I’ve had a confusing time trying to figure out why I don’t cry. I mean, I do, but not nearly as much as I thought I’d be, or as other missionaries do. (It’s not just in Relief Society–our biggest criers are the elders!) I think I’ve cried five or six times on my mission, with Sunday night being one of them. With all of the spiritual stuff that’s happening to me, I expected it a lot more. Anyway, there was no expectation of what this worldwide leadership training would be, but I got out my notebook and knew it would be fabulous whatever it was. Well, to my surprise, when the choir sang “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go,” and the genius producers who put those video clips to match it, I couldn’t stop the tears running down my eyes. I’ve been pondering a lot lately about how to effectively make my home an individual MTC/mission experience for each of my kids. If any of you watched it, you know how exact my answer was. Each child in the clip had their own life, but at the beginning and end of the day, their family came together in prayer and scripture study. I was overwhelmed at the blessing of having children grow up in the gospel, and influence their friends from the first day they introduce themselves. I know they have to learn it on their own, but I’d give almost anything for them to have the same experience I’m having right now. And I don’t even know them! Right after realizing that, I was again engulfed by the love I had for my mission, so of course, I cried even more. Alright, enough admitting for me!


OH! I almost forgot! Guess who our new roommate is?! Sister Brianne Noble from Centerville! Seriously, the Lord has the most perfect timing. We have all the same friends, but she just got to Viewmont right when I graduated. Sarah is actually friends with Melissa–so that makes the “coming on a mission” thing a lot less weird for the both of us. We’ve instantly become soul-sisters…she’s inspired me so much. So, of course, our little quad-ship is really fun. Sister West & Noble, and Sister Steel and I. It’s always a party…well let’s be honest…serving in the NYRM is always a party. It’s also surreal for me to think I’m the old fogey of the sister missionaries, there are just two sisters older than me in the mission. Since when did I get to be on my mission for so long? This is the time I really gotta get going!


Out of our twenty minutes we had in our area this week (not an exaggeration) we saw a pretty big miracle happen. I’m not sure if I told you about a couple we were teaching, Ed and Barbara, but we made some good progress on them a couple nights ago. They have been “investigating” for awhile now. Clarification: they said they want to know more truth, more light and knowledge, and they believe it comes from us. However, the told us they weren’t budging from their religion. We assured them their desires were plenty to continue to learn at a fast rate. Anyway, we had a great lesson on faith, and how listening with your heart is more important than listening with your head. It was a lesson full of inspired questions, which really got them thinking. We asked them to ask Heavenly Father if we were true messengers, and if what we were saying wasn’t crazy. During the closing prayer, Barbara thanked Heavenly Father for sparing her life this week (after being hospitalized) and also asked Him to start leading her from the path she was on, into the right direction of where she should go. I haven’t heard her admit to her Heavenly Father anything of that nature yet, and we both knew it was the Spirit guiding her prayers. She was finally listening with her heart. “For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.” -D&C 98:12


There’s also been miracle on top of miracle going on at the historical sites, too. Nothing too out of the ordinary here in New York. 🙂 My courage to stand up for what I believe in has gotten stronger every day, but I think the most important lesson I’ve learned throughout my whole mission, so far, is that each person has an individual role to play on this earth. Yeah, yeah…everyone tells you that in Primary. But REALLY. You have something inside of your spiritual DNA that is part of God’s DNA. He created plants, animals, trees–but you are His child. He didn’t create you because He was bored; He desperately needs that something you have to bless other people. But you won’t know until you ask Him, really study your gift, and acknowledge it in everyday life. Specifically ask Him to tell you how He sees you. I promise you that once you learn it, you will be a tireless worker.


Hermana Hawkes

2 thoughts on “Changing of the Guard

    • Great question! It is the place where the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth. When Christ came to earth 2,000 years ago, He set up the gospel–a way to get back to our Heavenly Father. Since all of the apostles with his priesthood authority were killed, the great apostacy came where there was no more truth on the earth. Jesus Christ needed to restore that full truth to a living prophet sometime soon! Joseph Smith, in 1820 at age 14, was called by God in Western New York when he asked which church he should join. Both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph and told him how to restore that same church–by the priesthood power of Jesus Christ. We now have that on the earth today because of the instruction given to Joseph to restore the Church of Jesus Christ…now called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! This is the area where that all began. It eventually moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Missouri, and then onto Utah, to safely establish His Church. Any other questions?

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