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Tender Mercies

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March 2016

Happy Easter!

 

So you might notice that I have two pictures of the annual Bunny Cake!

Brother Newman over heard me talking about how every year my family makes a bunny cake and decorates it. He went home and told his wife and she knew exactly what it was! So they made one for us!!!! Isn’t that the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard! I walked in and saw it and was like how did they know!?!?! The members have now noticed that I’ve been around the block for a lil while haha!

We met an excited dog that reminded me a lot of Gracie Jane – she peed on my foot! 🙂

So we were about to leave this apartment complex like in the car and
honestly I was dreading the next place we were going so I was like hey
let’s knock a few more doors here! So we knocked half a building
decided we would skip the next half, moved to the next building and
someone told us we should try the exact half we had just skipped. So
we did and we found someone! Heavenly Father could of just had us
finish the building, but instead he used one of His children as an
instrument and confirmed just so much more to me that He had been
preparing this Kenneth that we met! I’m not sure I would have given
all I did if I hadn’t of gotten the referral! Our Father guides our
every step!!!
Marie this week was so funny! Y’all she is 102 and we arm wrestled
and she totally won! I need to do more push ups! And I asked her to
guess my age and she thinks I look around 70😂😂 this mission is aging
me! I sure do love her and her love for Christ is so inspiring! I hope
someday when I remember nothing, I continue to remember Christ.

Mary’s kitchen this week was fun! After people got their meals we
passed out socks and candy for Easter! The people are so grateful and
kind. We did a district finding activity at a park on Easter. We put
questions about Jesus in eggs and if they tried they got candy! The
only ones who participated where children…go figure. But is the best
thing to teach a child about Christ! You can just tell it hits home
for them!

Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow. Ing.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.”
Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand

http://followhim.mormon.org/

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Mission Lyfe

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What is a normal day like?

Wake up and exercise, which is either running or laying on the floor and pretending to stretch. Then sister Paulson showers while I take a 5 minute nap or breakfast if  I’m feeling energetic!
Then we study for 2 hours…an occasional handstand is needed to get
the blood flowing. But really my favorite part of the day! I couldn’t survive without it!
Then we go teach people, serve people, and find people!
Finding people: we pray and ask God where we should go and he leads us
to people who need the gospel of Jesus Christ!
* The average responses we get from everyone: “I’m comfortable with
where I’m at” “I Already found Jesus” “not interested” “goodbye” “I
respect what you do, but not interested”
* Rare but worth sharing responses: “I know Jesus better than you” “My
wife is Jewish we can’t handle this right now” “I already prayed today
I don’t need anymore” “Come in” “Oh my goodness an Asian Mormon”

There is a lot of rejection, how do we deal with it? I laugh about it.
Laughing makes the pain nonexistent! Studies seriously keep me happy
all day! I love the scriptures!

Service: we visit a couple older women and just talk with them! It’s
really fun! But none of them can remember stories from back in the day
so we have to get creative with our conversation topics!! Sometimes we
help people move out or feed the homeless at Mary’s kitchen!

Teach people: this week we taught the Plan of Salvation or Happiness
in Farsi!!! Shore finally was able to meet with us! She now believes
that Jesus is more than just a prophet, but also the Son of God!!! And
she said “I used to like Jesus, but now, now I just really love Him.”
Ahhh so worth it!! Whitney, she comes to visit her dad and so when she
does we come and teach her. She has been anti-God for a while but
Sunday she wrote the most beautiful poem about Him and how He is
always there for her!!! Yay!! The Sesay family is doing good! We
weren’t able to teach them this week but the mom and daughter came to
a  dinner theater thing we had at the church! Way cool! Ms. Janet
opened up to us about her son, man she had just had the hardest life.
You know how we are supposed to mourn with those that mourn, I wasn’t
sure how to do that, I feel like I understand that a lot better after
knowing ms. Janet! Golly I love her.

Fun facts:
We are trying to organize a “Meet the Mormons Night” and show the
movie on a screen at the park! Super excited!
Sister Baird took us to In-n-Out for lunch!!!! That was a good day!
Heavenly Father led us to many people this week at the perfect timing!
He is so good to us!
Spanish and Farsi lessons are really awkward, because you just sit there
and listen to a foreign language for and hour.  But they are
really cool because  you can feel the spirit even when you don’t understand
anything!!!! I love the diversity here!!!

Change: also on missions things change! I’m getting a new companion!
Sister Paulson is going to be an Sister Training Leader in another zone! I am going to miss her so much! She is such an amazing missionary and has taught me
sooo much! Sister Cater will be my new companion!!! She is from
Thibodaux, Louisiana!!! Anyways sister Carter is so great and always has these super dope analogies! I can’t wait to see what we can do together! So I will be in this area for at least 7.5 months, which is fine with me because I absolutely love this area!

Love,

Sister Hawkins

Missionary Life in Bullet Points

Helllooooooo!
I feel like bullet points today so here they are:
•The Burns’ sent me the cutest St. Patrick’s day package! THANK YOU SO
MUCH! I’ve been eating lucky charms everyday & each time I do I think
of y’all!!
•My companion had a birthday!!!!! So the district went to downtown
Disney on p-day, surprise lunch w the sisters @ chipotle, burnt
cinnamon rolls, cake w Eileen & Sherry, birthday dinner w the Taylors,
big signs, a yellow cake made by the district. Organized some
surprises😏 good day
•We had dinner w one of our favorites they told us about a neighbor
who had met the missionaries once but it didn’t go well, so we tried
again and got a return appointment. We went back and told them I’ve
never seen such a happy face! Yay! Sending prayers it works out!
•As we were running one morning I totally tripped and fell, like full
out fall, and it was funny and I’m grateful no one saw…I think
•Prayed for peace and understanding in a stressful situation & God delivered.
•I saw sister Webb two days in a row!!!! I miss that woman!
•Elder Hamula of the Seventy came to speak to our entire mission! He
shook each of our hands! Each one of us! I bet his arm was tired.
Anyways sooo good! He has such a pure heart. I just know this is
Christ’s church with all my being! Sooo good!
Elder Hamula said each time you feel the spirit you are cleansed! how
powerful is that?! President Taggart said he promised himself 20 years
ago he would read the scriptures for at least 15 seconds everyday! It
works! I challenge all of you to do the same! We’ve challenged an
investigator to do that and I think it will be very helpful!
•We’ve gotten a lot of rejection this week, not loads of success &
have asked ourselves why is no one listening? Why do people not
understand? Why are people not nice to us? And I had a realization how
often does the Savior feel the same way about us? Sister Hawkins why
are you not listening? Why does this not make sense to you? Why will
you not just trust me? Why do you forget what I have done for you? I
just imagine Him pleading with each of us. How many times when we feel
wronged have we done the same thing to our Father in Heaven? When
someone cuts us off, when we cut the Lord off by not finding time to
listen to what He has to say for us. Classmate doesn’t help w the
group project, we commit to our Father in Heaven & end up letting him
down. So often our investigators let us down, they don’t keep
commitments, they don’t want to meet with us, so on it is so
heartbreaking and discouraging! How am I letting down the Lord? Can
you imagine the grief He feels each day every moment as the world
continues to ignore Him?  He loves us more than any of us could
imagine! It just breaks my heart to think about that & makes me want
to be better & help others be better!
•Sunday’s are officially my favorite day!
•The primary had us come in and talk a little bit about missionary work.
They first showed them the picture  of us and the the kids were like –
missionaries!!! Then they said we have some visitors & we stood up and
when they saw us they all gasped! It was so cute! They think we are
cool! Yay! Haha
•Sesay family lesson! They had dinner at the Taylor’s then we came and
shared a message! Yay! They are being fellowshipped and coming to
church on Easter!!!! Finally!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!! I’m just so excited!!!!
•Shore is FINALLY meeting with us on Tuesday w the bishop yay! We are
moving her date back but she is back!
•We met these lil kids two days ago and they said we could come back
and teach their families! So we went back and one of them answered.
The mom brought all the kids  to the door to watch the Easter video!
Cutest thing I wish I could have taken a picture.  We end up teaching them
and her mom outside, they weren’t super interested but very kind and
didn’t want a Book of Mormon. But their was a friend there and said
she would take one! We prayed with them and afterwards that girl, maybe 14, is
looking down looks up slowly and says wow. That is the Lord magnifying
our calling. I was just praying a regular prayer didn’t feel anything super special,
but the Lord made it special to a searching soul! Who knows if her
parents will ever let us meet with her, but now she had the tools!
Probably one of the coolest experiences!
I just absolutely love being on a mission. I know Heavenly Father is
real. He hears our prayers. He is waiting for us to reach out to Him.
He loves us more than we could ever imagine. So much so He sent His
Only Begotten Son to suffer for us. He sent one, Jesus Christ, to make
it possible to return to live w Heavenly Father again someday!

All my love ❤️ sister Hawkins

Tracting Mansions=Sparkling Water

So here’s a fun fact. The houses where we tract (knock on doors) are all huge mansions. People are mostly kind and they don’t just offer us a bottle of water, but a bottle of Perrier water!!

This week has been pretty hard – Lots of rejection, Satan just
working really hard on us. One of our most progressing families just
dropped us out of the blue with no reason. That was tough, but many
things went right too! Sunday was just so good and fulfilling! I am
learning so much out here on the mission! I am changing! I love it!
Things are starting to really click! Especially the Plan of
salvation and the Atonement!!! As I study the Atonement of Christ I notice that they use really big words, but I am starting to understand. I am learning how to teach people that only through Jesus Christ can we be cleansed from our sins.  I cannot wait for Easter! It is going to have so much more meaning for me this year!

Here are a couple miracle from this Sunday!
-The Sabbath was a delight.
-Opening prayer in Sacrament they prayed for us by name. The spirit
was so strong.
-4 Advil and some prayer does fantastic things.
-Bishop had us come to the man meeting (Priesthood meeting) and had us stand up there and told them to find people for us to teach and showed them the picture
of us and asked them to pray for us by name. The ward got a framed
picture of us to help the members remember missionary work….they
call us famous haha we have an amazing ward!
-Janet wasn’t interested, but we introduced our purpose and the Book of
Mormon. Her eyes turned sparkly. She felt tingling and just good.
Complete change from just 5 minutes ago. 180 turn around! Eyes were
sooooo sparkly!! She is going to read the Book of Mormon and come to a
temple tour.
-Our lesson with the Sesay family was perfect! The spirt was so
strong! The Taylor’s came with us. I think we are going to begin
seeing some real changes in their lives!

I love you all soooooo soooo much! Stay strong!
❤️Sister Hawkins

“I swear If El Niño actually happened these lizards would evolve into alligators!”

So we knocked on a Persian man’s door and he didn’t speak English so we were having a hard time understanding each other. He was trying to communicate with us and we were trying to share The Book of Mormon with him and even though we didn’t understand each other I think we all felt the Holy Ghost.
We have this family we eat with and I just love them. They are  both converts to the Church and they have no support from their parents. I can’t imagine not having the support of my parents to the point where you can’t even speak about it. They are so strong and they inspire me!
We ran into a Muslim man last week. He was just sitting on his porch
and we were lost so we said hello and we were able to teach him.  He told us his whole life story and it was kind just the greatest thing ever. He is one special human being, I never would have thought by the way he looked. Just by the way he looked I found myself saying oh he won’t be interested, but now we are best friends haha! Never judge
if someone is ready to hear the Gospel just by the way that they look. Everyone has an individual and unique story! I just want to hear them all! Is there a job where you can do that? Just talk to people about their life stories?
At the last minute got to go to Mary’s Kitchen again!!! Yay! They feed the
homeless. It stared out with two women cooking lunch for a couple
homeless people at the park, which turned into 50 people, and now is a
lot more than 50! They cook a hot and yummy meal for them! They have
shower times, bathrooms, haircuts, all sorts of programs! It is all run by
volunteers! Helen is the head woman in charge, we are all BFFs now
too! The picture is with two of the regular women that come to help
out! We’ve met so many friends there! When they see the missionaries
coming they all get so excited because they know we will work hard! Side
note: I always serve the fish and then smell like fish for the rest of
the day. But heyyy so worth it haha. They gave us all this extra food
they were going to throw away so we tried to find some more people to
give it too….that was an adventure.
We got to teach the Sesay family again finally! We’ve had a hard time
getting a lesson with them, but the Lord helped us sooo much! It was
just so great! And it all clicked and yes, they are slowly getting
there. They still have many responsibilities at their church and
aren’t quite ready to give it up. They want to dive into The Book of
Mormon and really study it.
Dave!!! So we had talked to Dave like maybe two times then he said he
would think about it and to give him a month. We went back and at first he was
totally not interested, but eventually opened up. He claims to be Christian, but
said he just does that because he wants to believe! He just dosent feel it.
He said he feels good when we talk with him but it goes away after we
leave. I just wanted to scream HOLY GHOST! Haha we are excited to see
his progress!
Y’all there are lizards everywhere!!!!!!!!! There is an exceptional
amount in this one apartment complex where elderly people live! We are
teaching someone there, Leola! I just love her so much and pray her dog
doesn’t die because he is her world! Anyways we were walking around with
her, walking the dog and we were talking about the giant lizards and
she says, “”I swear If El Niño actually happened these lizards would evolve into alligators!”
There was a confused bat that ran into my head.(Mother’s note: I have no idea why she included this funny but very random thought).
I love the people so much! We have had so many miracles this week, but
I forgot my journal so I forgot what they were but things are looking
up! We are seeing progress towards repentance and baptism!
We’ve been studying the Atonement and it is everywhere!!!!! Everything
is started to make even more sense. The more you study the Gospel the
more it makes sense!!  I know God loves each and every one of you! Stay strong!

All my love,
❤️Sister Hawkins

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