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Tender Mercies

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December 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

1 John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out

fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect
in love.”
We met this nice man who used to be Buddhist and had a way crazy
experience. He pretty much found Jesus and has been Christian ever since. We were talking to him about some things he could do to strengthen his faith and it came up that his wife is really really sick. Like bedridden, can’t talk much, and
has a full time nurse at her service. We asked if we could pray for
her. He guides us inside where she is laying on a hospital bed in the
middle of the living room. We prayed for her and I know they felt the
Spirit, I hope they did. It was an amazing experience I’ll never
forget!
Our garage opener has been opening two garages…oops.
People were so kind and giving this week! People have given us gift cards, oh and
candy and treats out the wazooo! I think they were just trying to get
rid of all the treats people have been giving them! “Magic Cookies” are my new favorite thing! Look it up.
We had dinner at the Bisscoti’s and her house is absolutely gorgeous!
The decorations are…I just don’t know how to describe it…I should
have taken a picture. Anyways they are way fun! We played this game
called Captain Puff Puff,  haha it was really cute!
Sister Ewing bought us dinner at Corner Bakery –  our favorite place. I
hope that woman gets hecka blessings for feeding us!!
Dinner with the Areonllos was great! They made gumbo! Their son is going
to the Baton Rouge Spanish speaking mission!
I just realized I’ll I’ve talked bout is dinner…oops I’ll try something new.
Christmas Day we went caroling w the A6 Elders. The last house we go
to is a girl that is kinda looking into the church…not really. Her
mom is a member but does not want anything to do w the church.  Let’s just say, you don’t go to their house or you might receive a threat. Well her mom was
totally happy to see us as well as her daughter. They invited us to
Wallyball the next day which is volleyball in a small room and it is
the funniest thing ever! Anyways so we asked our zone leader for
permission but they said no bc of some rule. So we text the lady tell
her we can’t make it. Well…apparently her brother is Sister Taggart’s
brother’s friend. And he contacts her.  We have no idea this is
happening, it is past 9:30 when they said they would be playing and we
get a phone call from Sister Taggart. (For those of you that don’t
know,  when Sister or President Taggart calls that usually means you did
something really wrong, you’re in trouble, or something bad
happened….) so we are nervous to pick up. I throw the phone at Sister
Webb and tell her to talk. And it is Sister Taggart calling to tell us
we can play Wallyball bc she knows this lady and it is a big deal she
let missionaries in her home! It was really cool! Reason why we
couldn’t go: we aren’t allowed to go to public gyms…weird rule but
they don’t wanting us to get hurt or the Elders to do anything stupid.
We got to teach a lot more people than expected this week!
The work is hastening.
Now for the news you’ve all been waiting for….drum roll please🎶🎵🎶🎵🎶🎵
Sister Webb is transferring to Garden Grove! She will be in a trio!

 My new companion’s name is Sister Paulsom from Orem Utah! She is super cute! I’m gonna miss Sister Webb. Just driving home without out out her I already got lost…we may have accidentally left our mission and we have to pay a toll. Lol no worries all is good now.

This week has been great. Christmas morning I was able to finish the
Book of Mormon and I know it truly is another testament of Jesus
Christ. This gospel, Christ’s simple gospel, brings me so much joy. It
makes my heart happy. Though this Christmas was a lil different I fell
I like I now better understand the meaning of Christ’s birth and how
He would have us celebrate His birthday. I love you all so much and I
am so grateful for all the love and support you are all sending my
way. I feel it. Stay strong!
Sister Bird (<< my new name…why it it no one ever calls me by me
real name lol?)
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Trippy the Turtle and Other Tender Mercies

Helllooooo!
So this week was strange…instead of telling you the long stories this week I’m just going to list my tender mercies!

  • We got to decorate 95 yr old Ramona’s Christmas tree and she gave me a spare toilet paper roll holder
  • The Lord saved our life in the car a couple times…so many people…lets just say I’ve learned to be a much much more patient driver.
  • Mormon 9:14 gave me a wake up call, find happiness NOW!              “And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.”
  • We had dinner w the cutest family! He is a Mormon and she is Catholic – they go to both churches on Sunday! That is a lot of church! He is like the entertainment director for Disney, like way up there and gets to meet hecka famous people so it is kinda like I got to meet hecka famous people right!? Anyways they are the most adorable people #Goals
  • It is cold, but not as cold as Wyoming
  • Trippy the Turtle was a large part of our week, it wasn’t that enjoyable so I won’t replay the story for you, just know the Lord will provide a way even in the strangest and most inconvenient circumstances. The Lord makes a way, even for the less fortunate turtles.
  • Taught a lesson w A6 Elders at Chickfila and the kid is getting baptized!
  • We met someone who at the end of their wedding instead of bubbles or sparklers the people made a sword bridge of light sabers…he likes Star Wars a lot…
  • Relief Society activity called “favorite things” it was sooo cute, you bring one of your favorite things like cooking thing, lotion, dessert, whatever and present it and then give it away to the person that draws your name.
  • Chase, the teenaged boy, is reading the Book Of Mormon and is officially kinda progressing
  • Favorite quote: as random person walks by Elder Martin “ooooh my gosh, an Asian Mormon
  • Only 5 days til I get to see all y’alls faces!
  • I am beginning to see the blessing we are to some people’s lives
  • Heavenly Father gives me the strength I need for each day.
  • Christ is my Savior.
  • We saw two people randomly fighting w light sabers…people like Star Wars

Y’all Christmas is a beautiful time of year. It’s going to be a lil
different this year but the Savior has shown me so much love. He has
helped me literally every step of the way. He is here walking beside
me helping me bring happiness to those who are searching. It is
honestly the best feeling. Doubt your doubts before you doubt you
faith. I’ve doubted, but when I return to Christ and His simple
teaching I doubt no more and realize just how present He is my life.
He is not only watching over us during the Christmas season but always
and forever. Stay strong.

Love,

Sister Hawkins

P.S. Kaitlin has asked everyone to watch this amazing video about Christmas!Click Here to Watch the Video

A Week of Giving and Receiving

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We got to see Chase this week! Remember We tracted into him before and gave him a Book of Mormon. He is Cami’s age and is an atheist. He
just hasn’t seen God helping him in his life. We went back and he had
great questions! He said he wasn’t sure when he started reading, because he is atheist, he thought it was kinda just a fiction story but as he
read he really felt it could be true! Made my life!
Blu the Horse is like pretty much blind now. He ran into a trash can and is
startled by all the noises it’s really sad. But on a happier note we
had fun at Zumba! Our ward does Zumba Wednesday and Friday, and
circuit training Tuesday and Thursday! How cool? They’ve been doing it
for a while, but it hasn’t really fit into our schedule but we made it this
week and there were soooo many friends of other faiths! Like 10 members 40 others were not!! We were there looking for a referral and we found her! Yes,  Zumba is allowed for the sisters!!
We finished teaching Mikelle the commandments! I’m sending a picture she is the one on the left, Imorie on the right, I love them both sooo
much! She is such a strong girl.
We saw the Levan’s again this week! They are such kind people and are
amazing parents! They’ve raised their family the old fashion way, the
“Proclamation Way” (she loooves The Proclamation to the Family). She
came to church Sunday!  She is so cute, she reminds me of Mrs.Allison just add a French accent!  Their dog looks just like Clara Belle!
I love seeing people’s hearts change right in front of us. We were
knocking and there was this couple outside decorating –  you could tell
they were not interested at all, but we kept talking to them  and by the end he was offering us Starbucks mochas! 🙂  It is just so
great to see that there are so many great people out there in the
world, people trying to do what is right, people seeking to please
God. It is so comforting to me.
We found another kind face this week. In fact, I’ve never seen someone so excited to see us! This man had just been talking to his Mormon friend on Facebook. He hates how people bash on the Mormons, we have some doctrinal differences but we all believe in Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. Is the other stuff worth arguing he says.
I’ve recently been trying to go back to the basics, the foundation of
The Church of Jesus Christ, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The scriptures
tell us the gospel of Jesus is having faith, reopening or changing,
baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, then enduring to the
end. Everything we teach should come from this. These are Christ’s
words, his church is built upon these things.
The ward party was beautiful  — they had 10 real Christmas trees they are going to give to less fortunate families and man did they make the place smell good!!!
They had a lovely nativity in Brea this weekend that they needed our help with.  There was a camel and donkey and sheep, how cool! It was
really amazing. It was the thing we helped set up for last week.
Soooooo cool!
Sunday we had 3 investigators come to church! Primary snatched us up to
be spotlights lol. My question was what is you favorite book (which is funny since I don’t like reading), but I said Junie B. Jones and man, did they love that answer! The High Priests also had us come in and recite Doctrine and Covenants 4. It’s not a requirement to memorize anymore so we had to memorize it this week. But they looooved that! We had our stake Christmas devotional it was amazing —  lots of musically talented people! We were in the choir….Sister Webb makes me do it. But it went really well!This week has been so great! We were sooo busy — everyday! Makes me happy when we have so much to do we have to run to our appointments!!!

Tinfoil Dinners and TV Trays

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Hey Everyone:

This is been kind of a long week with lots of discouraging moments, but we are pushing forward and I know we are being blessed!

Monday: we had district dinner at Grandma Collins and made tin foil
dinners in the oven!! I didn’t know it was possible! While we waited for them to cook,  we went and taught Mikelle the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It went so well, she is officially progressing and  she read the reading assignment and said she had an amazing experience reading the
scriptures, yayyy! Then back to our foil dinners, sooooo yummy!

The next day, we had lots of doors closed, but also some pretty amazing doors opened. Do you remember the Thurrells?  We taught he and his wife a practice lesson awhile back. His wife is a member of our church, but she doesn’t come even though he does.   He was so grateful that we came and did that and it made a good impression on her! They had us over for dinner – we are  the first church peeps they have ever had over to their house! We had pizza on ‘lil TV dinner tables and watched Mr. Kroger’s Christmas it is church approved of course.

 We taught a young adult named  Whitney, her dad was recently baptized and such, but she lives with her mom most of the time and she isn’t all for the Church so we just teach her when she visits her dad. She is twenty something w autism and so kind and sweet.  She struggles with loving herself and has encountered some mean people in her past 😦 Kids don’t be mean to people. I think we really got through to her though –  it was fantastic!

For dinner we thought we would go to In n Out and as we were standing in line some Mormons, not in our ward, walk up to us and start talking and ended  up buying our dinner! Made my night  that people are so kind and good to us! Then we found a lost sheep as we were tracting — no one was answering, but we kept going and we found a member of the church that is less active but his records weren’t in our Ward! He is so kind and talked with us, his wife isn’t a
member but she is also so kind as well I cant wait to get them to church, such an adorable couple!

Saturday was hecka rejection day 😦   We got to help w some service at the
Brea building. They have this huge nativity thing with  a live camel and donkey and it is supposed to be legitly awesome! So we got ON, the roof arranged clouds and moved some mountains, we literally did those things…. One sweet girl Carter was so kind and after we prayed for her and showed the Christmas video she was so softened and I know
she felt the Spirit.

We met this man a while back we call him “dog man” because we forgot to ask his name. Well anyways I felt like we should go back. Sister Webb was kinda like why are we going back, but I had a prompting so we went with it. He was so excited to see us again! We talked for like an hour and he is coming Saturday to see the camel. He is a strong Christian and just
wants to do God’s will. He cried like 4 times it was kinda amazing, but we aren’t sure if what we said really sunk in yah know what i mean? He is really ADD, it is sooooo hard to teach ADD people…sorry Mom and Dad. I feel your pain now!
Favorite Quotes this Week:

Webb: “Does that sign say ‘we hang Christians?'”

Me: “No it says , ‘We hang Christmas lights.'”

Response to us when we knocked on their door:

 “I don’t think we are ready for it, my wife is Jewish” man shuts door.

“Thanks for bringing the hoe over”-Marie.

We had no idea what she was talking about, but kept saying that when we were leaving.

I was dying of laughter.

I am just coming to love the work more and more, I find
myself getting lost in it and kind of forgetting about life.

Everyday I love my mission more and more.

 I received this from my Stake President from Logan and I loved it!

We bear witness that the heavens are watching over you! You are
indeed, not alone in this Holy Work! The Lord declared, “And whoso
recieveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I
will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in
your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up”
(D&C 84:88). Isaiah adds this powerful witness
“…for the Lord will go before you; and the god of Israel will be
your rereward” (Isaiah 52:12). In Hebrew, Isaiah literally explained
that Yahweh or Jehovah would go before you, and the Father would be
your “rearguardrd” (see footnote 12b). So with modern revelation and the
words of ancient Prophet Isaiah, we see that Jesus goes before you as
the “Good Shepherd,” the Father watches your backside, and the Holy
Spirit is in your heart. How can you fail, with the entire Godhead and
hosts of angels surrounding and upholding you?

I love you all so much! Stay UBER Strong!

Making Pie in a Blender and Other Miracles

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We had exchanges this week, which means we switch companions for a
day! I was with a STL (Sister Training Leader), which is kinda like a pro-missionary and they
help you a lot! This time was scary, my first time in the area without
my companion and I am directionally challenged! Like for real even
when the GPS is on Sister Webb still has to tell me when to turn bc I
forget to look at the GPS…We met lots of great people! We saw a young adult walking down
the sidewalk w army pants and no shirt, we decided to go talk to him
even though his headphones and dog and everything else were telling us
he wouldn’t be interested. Turns out he is a foster child and has just
been through some really difficult things and isn’t really sure if God
is there at all. We got to testify and help and invite him!

We also finally caught the Levan’s this week!
They are kinda a family of professional musicanists…no big deal!
They have two daughters at Princeton w full ride scholarships, one of
which was accepted at the age of 15…Anyways
the missionaries taught them a long time ago they love the
missionaries but just haven’t taken that step to get baptized! We are
hoping they are ready now!

Thanksgiving-We had district meeting and then a small Thanksgiving w
them! Mom, I made chocolate chip pie, wasn’t as good as yours…it
might of had something to do with me making it in a blender, but hey
beggars can’t be choosers! Then less than an hour later we had
thanksgiving lunch at the Bowels! So sweet, they had lots of family
over. Afterwards they bought us a gingerbread house to decorate! How cute?!

Then back to missionary work! People were very kind! We saw a couple
really cool miracles throughout the night! My whole body hurts. We
walked all day Wednesday and pretty much all day Thursday because we ran
out of miles. There aren’t big consequences if you go over on miles,
but we thought if we were exactly obedient we would receive blessings
so we walked and walked and walked. We did it! We stayed under our
limit and man, have we seen the blessings!!! We have taught at least 4
lessons everyday it’s sooo cool!! The Lord is not only leading us to
prepared people but he is also softening the hearts of the people we meet!

This we week we got to teach so many lessons. I think it is because everyone was
home for Thanksgiving.  We actually had so many lessons this week that the mission office   had to call us  and make sure they were real…

The first week I was here we had an average of 5 lessons,  but this week we had
26, so I guess it makes sense to be concerned, but they are legit
lessons!  We have quite a few follow up lessons – they’ve said tracting in this area is
really really unproductive,  but we are having such great success! I
think the Lord is just leading us to those that are prepared,  and the
two days of walking I think really made a difference in our work
ethic! It is a lot easier to be lazy with a car, but when you don’t
have one to rely one you just talk to anyone and everyone! The Lord is
magnifying our efforts and blessing us with oodles for attempting to
be exactly obedient!

The work still isn’t easy, but I am learning so much. I am trying really hard to put myself in other people’s shoes and understand where they are coming from. I am asking myself again all the questions that I ask of them so that I can try to understand what they are thinking as we teach them.

Words of wisdom from The Hawk:
Don’t look at how much you have left, look at how much you’ve accomplished.
Quote from random stranger:
“No, I’m Jewish.” We hand her a card and her dog about rips off Sister Webb’s hand …
“No thanks, but would you like to be Jewish?”

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