Let the Games Begin

PAGEANT HAS BEGUN! Oh man…I have not shaken so many hands in my entire life.

 
But I totally love it. Mom, I’m totally turning into you. When little kids shake my hand, I say almost every time, “Break my hand! Break my hand! Look me in the eye!” And they of course grab on with two hands and literally try to break it. It’s awesome. They are so sweet. Monday morning we taught a bunch of 10-year old boys about how to be missionaries and simply to open their mouth. (We had about 8 workshops with all different age groups that went until this afternoon.) It’s funny if you tell them something will make them become men…surprisingly, they will do it. Let’s just say we had lots of firm, strong handshakes and big smiles. It was FANTASTIC. I also love tailoring each workshop to the different age groups. Sometimes we have adults, some YSA, some Primary…but the coolest thing about it is that we all are teaching the same message.
 
3 steps to missionary work:
 
1. Open your mouth. TALK TO EVERYONE!
2. Use scriptures and testify of Jesus Christ. We are a Christ centered Church (obviously). 🙂
3. Invite them to do something. Make sure to offer them a commitment, or else they won’t do anything.
 
So those are the three workshops that we have covered the last three days. Now we go into their individual team tents to role-play with them. It is a blast. Speaking with, not to, 900 people a day is the best job in the world. Being able to teach and testify just as the Savior would is a miracle. “His voice to testify becomes the same as your voice. His hands, are your hands.” (Something like that from Pres. Eyring.) If all else fails, I just think of what Jesus Christ would say if he were my companion. As much fun as it is…I’m totally exhausted. Literally. Sister Correia and I fell into our chairs to write these e-mails.
 
Sunday night we had the missionary devotional. President Christianson came and blessed all of the cast that they would know what to say, know how to act, and most importantly, how to be missionaries. It was amazing to see a literal blessing, but throughout the whole cast while they were sitting in front of us. President had us full-time missionaries get up and recite The Standard Of Truth and the missionary purpose so they could see the power of memorization. It was powerful. Then we all stood to sing “Called To Serve” at the end of the devotional. Tomorrow is final dress rehearsal. But about 1,000 people are expected to come! So basically tonight is the last rehearsal. They have all done amazing. I saw the Resurrected Christ scene for the first time this afternoon. I was in absolute shock at how much the spirit is even brought into those rehearsals. Especially that scene! They pulled up the man who was playing Christ (my age) on a pulley into mid-air. He was holding a black sheet and then when the music cued him, he dropped the sheet so that the Savior appeared. Of course, this part will be in pitch black night so no one will see him going up, they will only see him appear in mid-air, appearing to people in America after the destruction. It was BEYOND powerful. I need to keep pinching myself that I’m actually here…and that I get to do this same thing next year.

Wow–I’m so tired. Not so much physically, but so tired mentally and spiritually. The weirdest thing though, is that all I want to do is go sit on a nice soft couch with my scriptures and teach a lesson to someone that needs Jesus Christ in their life. Oh man…I’m such a missionary! It really is the greatest job in the world. Even last week, I took a family on tour who only wanted to see the Smith log home, then go into the grove. So I taught a lesson in the home, then let them out the back door while I went out the front door. As soon as I closed the back door, I realized I was in Joseph Smith’s home alone. Nobody gets this chance. I just bowed my head and said a prayer of gratitude. When I was done, I left again through the front door, almost to hear Joseph Smith say, “let’s get back to work.” Sorry to be so personal, but I know for a fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He didn’t call it upon himself. This is the same gospel that Jesus Christ had when He taught on the Earth, and Joseph Smith has been prepared from the beginning to be the prophet of the Restoration.

I love your letters. Thank you so much for your support. Thanks to my family…and especially my family at BYUtv! I just got your letter at the end of a very exhausting day, and nothing else could have made me more happy than for Robbie to tell me that they feel like the lost boys in Peter Pan without their mother. I was just beaming. So thanks, everybody. 🙂 I’ll write you back soon!

This church is true. Read the Book of Mormon. But most importantly, read Moroni 10:4-5 before, during, and after your study sessions. Everyone here keeps saying it changed their life. But I would be lying if I said that. WEIRD, I know. However. Change means some sort of opposition. I have been SO lucky to be raised in a family that was based on the Book of Mormon. I have been living the principles since day one. BUT. The Book of Mormon has influenced my life in a way I could never imagine. I love it and Jesus Christ more than anything in this world. Love you all!!

BE HAPPY!

Sister Hawkes

 

Monica with FUTURE MISSIONARIES! Monica and Cast Monica, Correia, and MORONI Actually.. this one is Moroni.. other is Nephi...