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Tender Mercies

Month

August 2016

Matching Dresses, Mink Coats, and Sweet Eggs

Monday we had dinner w two of my favorite families. They remind me so
much of our our lunch dates to Trejos with Mrs. Kelley Hardcastle! I always feel
so happy and full leaving those dinners. Tuesday we were helping out a
less active and her sister cut squares for all these quilts and things
they are making. Though it would be fun, I was worried it wouldn’t be
a productive use of our time, but the sister who is not a member.
Posted a picture of what we did on Facebook and why we did it it was
awesome! The Lord answered a little prayer there. And they fed us
tacos😊 We had exchanged this week  and my STLs are Sister Carter &
Paulson both have been my companion! I stayed here with Sister Paulson
and they needed our last minute help at a blood drive. We didn’t
really do much other than sit and sign a few people in, but we did get
to talk a lot and it was so nice just what I needed. We also had a
lesson w someone I thought was a less active because we had
accidentally knocked on her door and she said she was a member but one
concern kept her from coming to church. Then some random guy in a
truck pulled over and pointed to a house and said go see her, so we
did and it was the same person. We get a return appointment and then
we find our she’s NOT a member bc of that one concern. She is going to
let us come over and practice the lessons and hopefully come to church
next week! We are super excited! Also Sister Paulson helped me realize
I need to do something w my feelings and such bc I keep sweeping them
under the mat and that does no good. So when we have free time I just
write, I write about anything that comes to my mind and I have never
felt better! I feel more in tune with the Spirit, I feel more patient.
I would recommend to all! Umm we had some less active members come to
church this week! We found a family last few weeks ago who is ready to
come back and they came to church! Their daughter is 7 and the cutest
thing ever! We are having frozen yogurt with them this week😊 we have
2 new investigators and have big goals for this next week! 5 new
investigators! That is really big for our area. But we are going to do
everything we can. This week we are starting a Book of Mormon class
and our AWESOME ward mission leader is hosting it in his home! #Goals
I have received a greater desire to share the gospel with EVERYONE! It
just pains my soul to know that anyone would not accept the Atonement
of Christ. To know that someone I love and care about, or just any
stranger, won’t be with me in the next life, won’t be with our Savior.
Imagine the pain He feels as he worked and continues to work so hard
for us and yet we often times completely ignore Him or feel we can do
it without him. We cannot do it without Him. His arms are stretched
out still, no matter the mistakes we’ve made. He wants us to return to
Him. I know Christ lives. And He is real! Salvation is REAL. A life
after this is REAL. How we treat our neighbors and ourselves matters
and is really shows how much we love God. If we love God, we will love
our neighbor. Those two commandments go hand in hand. Thank you all so
much for the support! Stay strong!
❤️Sister Hawkins

Shout out to the Tornow’s for buying us all matching dresses😊

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SUPER Great Week!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! My birthday was the best one
yet! The Tornow’s took us out to Olive Garden. We had an awesome
lesson with Sam. He just continues to amaze me. This week he said he
just wants to live with God. And said he knew he was imperfect, but knew as he continued striving to follow Christ and His teachings he could get there. And he made us
smoothies😊 then we had dinner with Sam, Justen, and the Theodores!
Soooo fun! We had a lesson afterwards and honestly we didn’t know what
we were going to teach, in studies I had read 3 Nephi 11 and felt we
should share the first two pages so we did and the Spirit was so
strong! Christ is REAL, and He really will come again, just like in
this account. It was great! We had a lesson later in the week with
Justen and he has decided to be baptized! All his concerns were
resolved and is on date for September 17th!!!!! He is soo happy and I
am soo happy and life is just sooo happy!
We also had zone conference this week which is always super uplifting!
President and Sister Taggart have challenged us to again read the Book
of Mormon before Christmas and mark Christ’s name, His words, the
Atonement, and love charity and hope. We’ve started and it is so
addicting! If y’all start today you just need to read 4 pages a day to
finish in Christmas Day! I did it last year and it was soooo special!
I challenge you all to try! It is such a blessing!
Oh also we met Elder Oaks!!! One of the Twelve Apostles!!, we got to
shake his hand! He came to visit a stake in our mission and set aside
an hour to speak with us! He handy planned anything, just spoke by the
spirit and there were so many things I needed to hear. He warned us to
make sure our concerts are converted to the Gospel, before the church.
One who is only converted to the church it is temporary and fragile.
But if we are sincerely converted to our Savior Jesus Christ and His
gospel we will never fall away! Thank you for the support and love!
I’m just so so grateful to be here and watch the Lord work mighty
miracles in the lives around me.
Stay strong!
❤️Sister Hawkins

“I Can Do”

Note from Kim – Thursday is Kaitlin’s birthday so if you have a minute to send her a birthday email I know she would love it! The email address is linked in the blog.

Justen-We had an awesome lesson in the Bishop’s home. We talked about
prayer and scripture study and it was just fabulous. But Justen
doesn’t want to come back to church until he does some more reading.
In other words he has no date for baptism and we are REALLY worried
about him. He has a lot of questions and doubts many things, I know
when he gains a solid testimony of Christ and the Book of Mormon the
commitments and living the commandments will be a breeze. He is just
soooo awesome and I feel like we are losing him. Which leads me to
some more heartache that was felt this week. Evan- he is 14, neither
of his parents have a super active faith in Christ. We’ve been working
with him for almost a year. His parents required him to take the
lessons for a year before he could be baptized. Well this week we were
dropped. He will be baptized in his grandparents church, this weekend.
A baptism anywhere is good! And you will be blessed for it. I cried. It
literally broke my heart in half and I’ve been praying all week he
would change his mind.
William-a man who has been living in his car for the past four years.
First of all, can you imagine? He has come to church the past two
weeks. He is a less active member. We have been meeting him, he gets
distracted easily, but is so nice. And hey I get distracted easily so
we are good friends. We actually met him at the park. We were sitting
at a table writing our phone number on pass along cards and he just
came up to us and told us his whole life story. He has been through
sooo much!
This week we had the opportunity to volunteer at Mary’s Kitchen and
serve food. I ended up just running around the whole time. Someone
needed milk, then a backpack, then spicy stuff, a container, utensils.
Seriously soooo much fun! I got to meet more of the people this time.
I had Korean BBQ this week which is the funnest thing EVER! You cook
your own meat on the little grill and it is all you can eat so I tried
squid, pork belly, stuff I can’t pronounce, all the stuff. The squid
tasted fine, but I couldn’t get over the rubberiness and just kept
thinking about that cute little school of squid we saw snorkeling in
Hawaii and I’ve come to the conclusion squid is not for me.
We’ve been sharing the Restoration with members who feed us and y’all
it is the best thing we could have ever done, thanks to Brother
Theodore! We had a dinner this week where I felt prompted to share Joseph Smith’s
First Vision. Y’all I felt the spirit sooooooo much!!! It was so
POWERFUL! I cannot think of any other word than powerful. It was not
me, the Spirit was speaking through me.   I KNOW he was an instrument in the Lord’s hands. He was either a prophet or a liar, and just what I felt proves he is a
prophet. If you doubt record yourself reading Joseph Smith history and
listen to it. An apostle recommended that a while back.

I hate cantaloupe, but everyone here loves it, so it has been growing on me.
The family we taught a while back gave us cantaloupe. The son and
father couldn’t make it to our lesson so we just read the introduction
with the wife and it was amazing! I love the spirit! Just us and her I
think is what really needed to happen to open her up.

I am beginning to really get to know and love our ward. The people
around me are just so loving and kind and all the good things. My
companion is awesome! My family is awesome! My friends are awesome! I
just feel so much gratitude. I have so much more than I deserve.
Christ did for me so much more than what I deserve.
I love you all soo soo much! Stay Strong!
Sister Hawkins

Ps. “I can do” is my favorite thing sister Sainan says in her cute
accent. So simple. So powerful. We should all say it more often. With
the Lord’s help, I CAN DO!

Split Ends and Pedicures :)

This week was a hard one! I think especially for Sister
Sainan, lots of rejection and no one came to church☹️ it’s always hard
facing so much rejection at first, but she will get used to it 😊
Justen won’t be baptized on the 21st he doesn’t feel ready so we will
be moving back! But we do have a lesson with him and the Bishop this
week!! Yay! But also this less active homeless man we met at the park
showed up to church!!!! Yay!! He converted at 18 in Alabama, but made
his way to Cali and can’t afford a house here, which is understandable
so he’s been living in his car. But anyways we missed our return
appointment and we have no way to contact him so we thought we’d never
see him again, but then he just showed tip to church! Super excited!
He even stayed the whole time!
Brother Tornow told me I need to get a haircut this week and cut off the dead ends haha, thank you brother Tornow for life’s most important advice haha. Also the Tonows bought us certificates to get manicures!!!!!!!! Can you believe that??? I love them sooo much! Sister Sai’s 1st manicure! We are going today!
The women  church group is doing a service project for homeless
veterans with making blankets out of plastic shopping bags!!! How
cute!?! You cut up the bags, tie the together, then someone crochet
it!!! And I think I want one haha!
Love You!

Sister Hawkins

Cule Katz

สวัสดีค่ะ (Hello in Thai)
My companion is from Thailand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is sooo amazing! She
served in Thailand for 3 months waiting for her visa, then JUST
started learning English 2 months ago in the MTC! She learns quickly,
but some things don’t translate over the same for example. Some
sisters called asking for a ride bc their car had broken down. I said
“their car is broken” and sister Sainan thought the car was split in
half!!😂
Then someone hung up on us. “Hang up?” As she, with a questioning
face, motions of someone being hung by the neck.
Then she said “this area members are cute” and after many questions
and a lot of laughing we learned she thought cute meant helpful😂
Also she kept making this noise that sounded like “meow” and I said
“sister are you trying to be a cat?” And she laughs and says it is a
slang term for darn it or shoot, like when you drop something. Then
totally randomly she whispered “we are cool cats” 😂😂😂 sooo great!
She is hilarious. I hope me writing these things are as funny as they
actually were.
We’ve laughed so much this week.
So two more hours of each day is cut out from studies. We have 1 hour
of personal study, 1 hour of companion study, 1 hour of new missionary
studies, and 1 hour of language study. Then we spend 2 hours of the
day eating so by the time we get out most of our day is gone! But it
is crazy what we’ve been able to do with that small amount of time. We
had two lessons with Justen this week. I called maybe 15 people to see
if they could come to his lesson and no one could. The Tornow’s took
us out to Thai food and decided to come along to Justen’s lesson!!!
Yay!! Then last minute someone was able to come to the next lesson! It
makes such a difference when members can come to lessons and relate
with the people we are teaching. Justen is still excited to be
baptized on the 21st! I’m excited too!!! He has made a big step
forward by beginning to live some of the standards! Oh and we had
another last minute lesson with Evan. He knows he needs to be
baptized, he knows we have authority, he knows the Book of Mormon is
true, he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, but something is holding
him back. He hasn’t even told his grandparents he is still pondering
where to get baptized. I can pray and try my best, but I’ve realized
it is his decision, a hard decision. Both show great faith! He wants
to follow God and he will. He was able to come to a baptism Sunday and
he really felt the spirit😊
No one showed up to church😑 which was really disappointing bc I
thought a lot of people would be coming today, we’ve been doing a lot
of calling and texting to use our time and miles on our car more
wisely. The worst thing about being a missionary is disappointment.
You see all this amazing potential people have and if they would just
change a few things in their life they would be soooo much happier!!!
But then they don’t and it just breaks your heart! 💔
More about my companion. She is a convert! She converted at 18! She is
22 now. She and her younger brother are the only ones who converted.
She met missionaries at the mall and told them no 3 times, but they
were very persistent. They asked if she wanted to learn English, she
said no. They asked if she wanted a new friend, they eventually got
her to commit to going to church, while there the missionaries wanted
to teach a lesson to a woman, but could unless another woman was in
the room. So they has sister Sainan sit in. They told her she didn’t
have to listen, they just needed her there so they could teach the
investigator. She felt the spirit. Downloaded the Book of Mormon on
her phone and began to pray. After a while she knew she wanted to
learn more and told the missionaries and now her she is!!!!! Yay!!!
I can’t remember if I’ve shared this before
Mormon 9:14
“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.”
I think often times we say oh I’ll be happy WHEN I’m done with school,
I’ll be happy WHEN I get a new companion, I’ll be happy when I’ve
retired. Then we look back at life and realize we were so busy wishing
for the next step to happen we never found happiness where we were. If
we were to die right now, who would we be in the next life? THE SAME
PERSON! Who we are wont change. We need to find happiness NOW! We need
to be the person we want to be in the next life. A happy and joyful
and loving person. Find joy in barring a heavy load. Find joy in what
seems to be the dull moments of life. Which easier said than done
right haha. We wind be perfect, but we can try. We can have happiness
always as we are obedient to God and look to Him and rejoice and share
that happiness with others. I think some of the times I’ve been
happiest is when I get to be an instrument in bringing someone else
joy! Look for the one who needs a little love this week! Love them and
love them again!
Thanks for all the support! Stay strong!
❤️Sister Hawkins

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