Hola Familia

Hello my awesome family! Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday dear DAd and Grandma Griffeth, Happy birthday to you!! I hope this is a super fun birthday week and that you all eat enough enchiladas for me!!
It was so great to her from all of you and all the things you`re doing!! It sounds like Keane`s wedding was so great! Also, Kristie awesome job in volleyball! I am so happy that you won that game! and also honor`s society Vp wow how fun!!! haha and way to do your 10000 shots! Garr, awesome job in football bud!! Yay i am so excited that you guys made it to state! Good luck! and have fun with your tree stand. Im glad to hear that the field work is almost done and that you are hauling grain!!
The highlight of the week was that Glenda and Oliver were baptized. There was such a special feeling in their baptism! The ward all chipped in and helped them feel so welcome, and the neatest thing was to hear Glenda bear her testimony. She said that she felt something special the day that we found her and that she had a longing to keep learning more. She said that she knows this is the beginning of a great change for her and her family and that she has never felt the feeling that she had after her baptism! She also said that she felt great after being confirmed! Sadly, Oliver was not able to be confirmed on Sunday, but we will be sure to help him to be there for church this coming sunday! We have also been working with a new investigator named Joselyn who had two little girls and is separated from her partner. She seems so interested and has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon. It is great to see her progress and I know that if we can help her to come to church and continute to learn that this will truly bring happiness in her life.
We are also working with a less active and her two sons who now have baptismal dates. The first thing they said when we walked in their door after attending church was ¨we have two more Sundays before we can be baptized´It was so neat and they were super attentive and answered lots of questions in the lesson about the Plan of Salvation.
This past week my goal in 12 weeks was to teach the Book of Mormon and my love has grown so much for this book! I know it is the keystone to our religion and that if the people will develop a testimony of the Book of Mormon, that they will have a testimony of everything else in the church so much easier and this will help their lives so much. I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and to serve! I am loving it here and love serving! I miss you all and pray for you all so many times every day! I am grateful for the gospel and how it blesses families! Please all be safe and know that I love you all so much!!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

I will really try to send pictures next week of the baptism! I forgot my camera this week! I love you all!

Dear Family

How is the best family in the world???

Wow it is always so great to hear all your updates and everything you are doing! I´m sorry I can´t respond to you all personally because I am super short on time today, but know that I read all your emails and am so grateful for each of your messages and pictures!!! Thank you sooooo much!! I love you all tons!!!
Well, this was a great week! We had super great lessons and found some awesome people!! Glenda and Oliver came to church on sunday and passed their interviews so we are looking forward to their baptisms on Friday!!! I can´t wait and they are so excited! Glenda asked me to give one of the talks at her baptism so that will be really fun and I hope that I can say something that will help her realize that she is making such an important step in her life!
We also had 9 of the families we have been working with this week come to church!! yay! It is always so fun to see people we have been working so hard with finally come to church!! One of the ladies is a new investigator that we have been working with and I sat by her in gospel principles and then in Relief Society I walked in and was looking around for somewhere to sit and she motioned for me to go sit by her so that kind of made me feel good! I love the people here and the more I am around them and trying to talk, the more my love grows!
We also found a less active this week and she has two little boys that aren´t baptized, so we invited them to church and to be baptized teh 14 of November and they were thrilled!! They are 8 and 9 and they seriosly couldn´t stop smiling! It will be fun to keep working with them!!!
I had a super spiritual experience this week and my testimony of our prayers being answered was strenghtened so much! we were teaching one of my favorite families and I bore my testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers all of our prayers and started telling these two boys the experience of fasting and praying to know if I should go on a mission, and I started to cry because I had such an overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father really does love us and answer every one of our prayers through the Holy Ghost! I know that this is true and that when we will truly listen for our answers from the Holy Ghost, we will always find our answer!
Good news– I didn´t get transfered! I am so happpy to be here in Daule and Cant wait to keep working hard here! I´m sorry this is so short and I am out of time and can´t send pictures, but I love kyou all so much and am so grateful for trhe best family and sulpport group ever!!! I lvoe you all!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Another Beautiful Week in Ecuador!

Hello my Awesome Family! It was so fun to hear from all of you! Thank you so much for all the fun emails and the pictures! Mom and Dad, thank you for all the updates! I love hearing what`s going on with the family from you! Josh it sounds like your house looks great and I loved all your thoughts from conference!! Jared it sounds like your house looks awesome and that you are having tons of fun hunting!! I would love a picture of Kelsie`s cute tummy!! Whit thanks for the update on everything and for the funny story of London! Sadly, I didn`t get the pictures! I don`t know what happened! Kristie wow you are doing so well in volleyball! 14 kills in one game! Keep it up and I cant wait to hear next week that you beat Salmon! Good luck!! Oh and there is always american mucic here and i heard Sugar this week and thought of youª! 😉 and have fun at the dance!  Garr wow seriously every week i get another update on how awesome you are doing in football and i keep thinking wowo how does he do that with a broken arm!! Great job bud! Have fun hunting and be careful!! Oh also something funny for all of you, we were eating lunch at a member`s house this week and they were watching `just for laughs` and it reminded me of when we would all watch them together and die laughing!!

The work here in Daule is moving forward! We are working with some great people and it`s always such a joy to find new people. This past week at zone conference I felt like evey message there was specifically for me and I know that all of our leaders are so inspired. Hermana Fuentes and I had the opportunity to give talks on contacting and on working with our investigators, and I was actually able to speak in what I hope was coherent spanish for 10 minutes. I know that the Lord is blessing me with the gift of tounges, and even though my spanish still isn`t really good, it is getting better and I know this is a blessing.
I have been really excited to work with two of our investigators that have baptism dates. Sister Glenda and Oliver have been progressing so well and are always so receptive to the messages we have and always say that they want to come to church and want to learn more. They always read and are doing really well in always remembering to pray. We passed by for them on Friday and Saturday and weren`t able to teach, but they said that they were coming to church and we could pass by for them. We passed by on Sunday morning and found out that Glenda´s son had been in accident the night before and she had taken him to the hospital and was too tired and couldn`t come to church, which means that she can`t be baptized this coming week. Honestly walking away from her house after hearing that, I wanted to cry. I wanted her to be baptized so badly this coming week and knowing that that wasn`t going to happen made me so sad. She is still doing well though and has a desire to be baptized, and I realized that I need to focus on this and helping her to be baptized. I know that she is a great person and needs this covenant in her life, and am excited to keep working with her this week. Also, when we showed up for church, none of the people that had commited (9) came… so that was kind of disappointing! if any of you past missionaries have good advice or productive ways to get people to come i am more than open to advice!!! But i also had the opportunity to play this tiny keyboard in sacrament meeting. I was praying that the songs wouldn`t be hard since its a keybord and i never get to practice… and the first son had 4 flats! Let`s just say Lori Ann would be slightly less than proud of how I played it but i did make it through! The people don`t really sing because they aren`t used to having a piano, but my companion sings loud and that made me feel better!! Also something kind of funny, We had testimony meeting and it really was such a great meeting with hardly any breaks in between people or anything and the testimonies were so uplifting. There was a break in people, and all the people on the stand looked at me like `your turn` so i got up an bore my testimony whether i was going to or not, but it ended up being ok… I think!
We also had another investigator Jorge commit to baptism and that was really exciting! He has a wife and grown kids but he was the only one in his family that was very interested in coming to church and being baptized. The last few days when we have gone to teach him he is never home so that has been hard, but hopefully we will be able to contact him and keep working with him this week!
We also found a new investigator this week named Jony and he is also really receptive! We were able to teach him with 2 members present and I know that it is so much more effective to have members in the lessons because the people feel more comfortable, and it is so great to have more people to share their experiences and testimonies! The lesson went great and hopefully we can get his family to start listening to the messages as well.
Oh also another kind of funny story! I was talking to a lady this week and i told her I am from Los Estados Uniños… haha oh somethimes i just have to laugh off my spanish because I seriously don`t know how anyone understands me… thank goodness the spirit is the teacher and not me!!
I am so grateful to be here doing the Lord`s work. I know this is such a great work and I am so grateful for the opportunity that i have to share my testimony everyday!! I know that We all have a very specific plan and that Heavenly Father is very mindful of each and every one of us!! I love ykou all so much and I`m so grateful for all of you! I have the best family in the world! I love you all!!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes
My scripture for this week was 3 Nephi 5:13. and i have truly come to love this scripture! It means a ton to me as a missionary, but I think that it can apply in all of our lives!!

My First Conference in Ecuador

Hola, how is my awesome family???

Wow it is so great to hear from you all and hear about all that you`re all doing!! Thank you all for the pictures and the awesome emails! I love hearing about all of you and all you`re doing!! Kristie, wow I hear you are the volleyball champ! Everything I hear from everyone is that you are doing so awesome and keep the team going! Dad said you are a blocking monster!!! Blocks are seriously the sweetest! Way to go!! And Garr… Wow but I don`t even know what to say about your football game! I seriously don`t think I`ve ever met or will ever meet anyone else that can break their arm and two weeks later, make the winning play of the game! That`s my brother!!! Good job bud and thanks for the picture of you and Carter! It`s good to hear that the fall work is going well! I hope you are all doing well and I pray for your health and safety everyday!!
Also Wow how exciting that Tyler Hess and Allie both got their mission calls this week!!! Missions are truly life changing and I`m so excited for both of them! We are all called to specific places at specific times and I know that the Lord is so mindful of them! How exciting that Elizabeth and Melissa are getting married so close together! I`ll be anxious to see all the pictures!!
Well things here have been super great this week!! First, starting on monday, We got to teach our investigator Glenda and her son Oliver again and this time her daughter who is 20 sat in on the lesson and she was so receptive of all the things we were teaching and by the end of the lesson was asking questions like `so what are the requirements to be baptized?` She just needs to get married and then she will be golden!!!
On Tuesday we had our zone conference in Pedro Carbo and our zone is so great! Our zone leaders showed us how we can incoorperate family history into teaching and contacting, so that was really neat to try! President Dennis also came and urgently told us the need that we had to invite people to conference to listen to the prophet, so after that, everyone we talked to we would tell them that we had a very important weekend in the church and invited as many to conference as we could! That really strengthened my testimony of the importantce of attending and listening to conference and made me so grateful that we have living prophets and apostles on the earth today to lead and guide us. One of our less actives also had an interview that night so he is so close to being rescued and it`s so exciting to see! He has come to church faithfully the last few weeks and he truly looks happier than he did when we first met him! It is so awesome to see the difference that the gospel makes in people`s lives!
Wednesday we got fed two lunches… haha that was the first time that has happened and I litterally didn`t eat for the rest of the day because I was so stuffed, but the people here are so kind and will literally give you everything they have! I also have been able to eat freshly picked guava, mango, oranges… you name it and they have it here! It is so awesome!! We also had another lesson with Glenda this day and we had previously taught her the Word of Wisdom and when we went over to her house she had a super bad headache because she hadn´t drank coffee for a few days and we testified to her that she was doing the right thing and she said ´I`m going to be strong. I know that this is how I need to follow the commandments fo God.` she is so strong and is doing so well and it is so fun to teach her and her family! I look forward to going over to their house to see and teach them!
Thursday was probably one of the busiest and best days in my mission so far. We got to teach 8 lessons taht day and found 3 new investigators! I know taht the Lord blesses us when we set goals and work hard and that we couldn`t have had that great of a day without his help!
Friday was also a great day of teaching! We found a new family to start taeaching and they were really receptive! We had an awesome lesson with them about the restoration and the spirit was really strong! At the end of the lesson we asked if we could all kneel and if the guy Jorge would offer the prayer and ask if what we had taught was true. We all knelt down and all the sudden Jorge yelled and stood up faster than I`ve ever seen anyone move! It kind of scared us, but he grabbed his leg and said àhhh my leg cramped! then he kneeled back down and jumped up again because his leg cramped again! His wife was literally bent over leaning on the chair crying laughing and I had tears rolling down my cheeks I was laughing so hard! haha, but we finally said the prayer and the spirit came back and that was so fun and such a cool lesson! We also had a FHE with a family that nighta and they invited all of their family members and we had a great lesson about our ancestors and how they need us just as much as we need them. We had everyone go around and tell a story about one of their family members that had passed away and it was a really spiritual and awesome night!
Saturday and Sunday were so awesome! We would go out before every session and try to bring people that had committed to come to the sessions and I think we had 9 people total attend! Hna Twitchell from Utah and I got to go listen to the talks in English (Yay) and Wow! I don`t know if it`t because I`m on a mission or if the talks were just extra good this time but I was so uplifted by each talk!! I loved the talk by Elder Holland about our mothers and I sted a few tears thinking about how blessed I am to have the mom that I do and that he described perfectly!! I also loved the talk about memorizing a scripture every week and how that is a way that we can continually keep our thoughts on more spiritual things! This is my new goal and I hope that we can all make this a family goal and check up on each other with it! I am so grateful for all of you and for the knowledge taht we have that we can bef families forever! this truly is the greatest blessing we can receive in this life and I know it is only possible through the Savior and his atonement and that if we continually repent that we can be worthy of this! I am so grateful to be here as a missionary and I love you all do much! Have a great week and please be safe!!
All my love, Hermana Hawkesunnamed