Hola from Ecuador

How is my amazing family doing this week?? It sounds like you all had so much fun with Thanksgiving and that there was quite the party at our house! HOw fun! I would also love to see pictures of our house all decorated for Christmas! IT sounds so cute!
This was a great week! I went on exchanges with Hermana Twitchell on Wednesday and we had a good day! It is good to get new teaching ideas from different people and also to see how different it is to teach with a different companion. I learned a lot from her and used that time to clarify anything that I haven`t understood in spanish! 🙂 She is from Utah! That night we also had the piano class and it went pretty well! I had the tiny keyboard to help me teach this time and that was way fun! I taught them how to play `pan caliente` aka hot crossed buns and I think they enjoyed it! It makes me laugh because the faithful attenders include our President of the branch, the secretary, and then some other awesome members, but we are going to start seeing investigators come! I can feel it!
Thursday (Happy Thanksgiving) we visited a family that has a lot of less active kids and the mom was so sweet. She told us that she loves when we drop by every few days because we bring the spirit into their home! Her daughter who is less active was in the lesson and her mom told us that she hasn`t wanted to pray or go to church and so we started talking to her and tried to help figure out what she could do to gain these desires. She started to cry and we ended up having a super spiritual lesson and by the end she realized that these things really are the things that are going to make her happy in her life, and it was so awesome to see a change in her in the short time that we were there! She ended up coming to church on Sunday and had her interview to be rescued! I love when we get to see changes happening in the lives of these awesome people!
Friday we got to teach the little girl that is preparing to be baptized on the 12th and it is so fun because she has two little brothers that are seriously so cute named Kendri and Kenser and everytime we walk up to their house they yell `Hermanas!!! We`ve missed you!` it is so cute and it makes me think of all my cute little neices and nephews at home!!
Sunday was probably one of the best days on my mission so far! Church was so uplifting and the messages were all about keeping the sabbath day holy and the things that we can do in our homes to help with this commandment! It was so great to hear and be reminded of the importance of this day for the Lord and also in our lives! I know that this is a commandment that is soo important for us and really does make a huge difference in our lives. After church we went out contacting in an area where we have never been and wow we found 3 great contacts right off the bat! I am so excited to go back and teach them! We also happened to knock on the door of a less active and invited her to come back to church and she said she would! We also stopped by for Martha (the mom of Dimas and Darlyn who were just baptized) and we had literally been in her house for maybe 2 minutes and she started crying and telling us all the hard things that are happening in her life, but we were able to talk to her and by the end she was doing a lot better, but it was such a testimony builder on how the Spirit guides us to the people who need help!
This has been a great week for us here in Daule! I finished my training this past week and it is crazy to think that there is mission after the 12 week training! But I am excited to have the extra hour to go out and work and I am grateful for all that I learned in the 12 weeks! I also finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish this past week and my testimony of it has grown so much! I am excited to start reading it again now that I understand more in Spanish, and I am also excited to start studying Preach My Gospel! This morning was my first time studying for the investigators and I am already realizing that it takes practice and a lot of listening to the Spirit to know what the investigators are going to need to help them in their lives!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Hola Familia

How is everyone doing??? Happy Anniversary to Jared and Kels yesterday! I`m sorry I didn`t say it last week, but it was written in my planner! It sounds like you had fun! Also, Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for the awesome family that I have and also I am so thankful for this time that I have as a missionary!
Thank you all so much for your awesome stories and the updates! I love hearing how you are all doing and am so greatful for each one of you! Good luck with all the things you are doing this week- work, games, houses… sorry I don`t have time to write individually, but I am thinking of each of you and love you all so much!!

This has been a great week! We have been working with the girl named Scarleth who is our upcoming baptism! Her mom is a less-active and they have both been a lot of fun to teach! They have already assisted church twice and are really faithful! It is so great to see them progress and they also have two little boys in the family and it is great to see them come all together to church!!

We have also been working hard this week to find new people! We have a few sectors that are a little ways drive in the mototaxis and a few days ago we traveled all the way across town for 4 appointments, and none of them were home. So I turned to Hermana Fuentes and said “Well, let`s find the reason that we were supposed to come here.” So we started knocking doors, and had some good contacts, and we were about to leave and knocked on one more door. The guy was really hesitant at first, but after a little bit his wife came and they invited us in and we had an awesome lesson with them! We talked about family history and how important the famlies are and incoorporated that with the message about the Restoration, and it was probably one of the most spiritual lessons I`ve had here on my mission! It went great and they committed to come to church, but when we passed by for them they weren`t there, but we are excited to keep working with them and helping them!

Also to find new people, this week I started teaching piano class! 🙂 Haha it was kind of challenging because I had no idea what any of the vocabulary for piano stuff was but it ended up being pretty good and I think the 11 people we had there enjoyed it (including the ward mission leader, and branch president). We are going to keep doing the piano class for a few weeks to see how it goes and see if we can get more people to come!

We also has our big Christmas Conference with the mission and it was so fun to get together with the entire mission! There were great messages on what we can give to the Savior this year for Christmas and the musical numbers were incredible of missionaries singing!! I love this time of year!!

I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve as a missionary! As this week is Thanksgiving (even though we don`t celebrate it here) I have been thinking of reasons why I am thankful! I am so grateful to have such an awesome family that helps and inspires me so much in this work! I am also so grateful for the gospel in our lives and the happiness that it brings! I truly know that the most happiness we can have in our lives comes through living the Gospel and following the example of the Savior! I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and remember how much I love you all!!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

P.S. Funny side note… If you don`t get it ask Jared or Garrett! But this week we found the son of a less active named Steven, but here they say it Esteven… and when he said it I started laughing because it sounded like Phteven!

A Week Full of Blessings

Hola!! How is my awesome family doing this week??? 🙂
I always love reading all of your emails and the pictures you send me are priceless!! thank you so much! I truly know we have the best family in the world and I thank Heavenly Father everyday for all of you and how blessed we are as a family!
Josh Congrats on the new job!!! Wow that sounds so awesome and I am so happy for you! Good luck and I can´t wait to hear how it goes! Kels, thanks for the update! Your email made me laugh and it is so fun to hear the missionary work you are doing!! Keep it up! Jared and Kels, it sounds like you have quite the little dancer and that she is also super smart in school! Wow how fun! Thank you for the pictures and Jared your deer looks awesome!! Whit and Shane, thanks for keeping the family company during mom´s surgery! Also whit your YW night looked incredible as well as the bridal shower! You guys are all so crafty!! Kristie… um wow… there aren´t even words! You started the game, jumped, and were super aggressive! Awesome job! Keep it up! Good luck this week! Garr! how are you bud? it sounds like you and Jared had fun in the tree stand and jumping over the barbed wire fence… 😉 I am not surprised that your boot hasn´t slowed you down at all! Dad and Mom, It is so fun to hear your updates on everyone! Thank you so much for being so good at keeping me informed! I love you all so much and am always praying for you! Mom i know your surgery will go well! I love you!
This has been a really good week! The best part was that Dimas and Darlyn were baptized and confirmed this week! The baptism was so special and it was so neat to see two brothers be baptized at the same time and then later confirmed at the same time in church! They were so happy and couldn´t stop smiling! Their mom Martha also bore her testimony at their baptism and said that she was so grateful that her only 2 kids could be baptized at the same time and she really felt the spirit. She cried in her testimony and it is also really cool because she is a recent rescatada so it has been awesome to see them progress as a family. They always ask if we will pass by their house everyday and visit them and keep teaching them and they always ask me to say the prayer because it´s the tradition now and it is kind of funny!
We also had our other investigator with a batpism date assist church yesterday! WE passed by his house and he was out working in the fields and his family said that they didn´t know when he would be back and I was kind of disappointed. But as we were walking to the next house to make sure the people were coming to church, Hermana Fuentes said Let´s go down this street, and it was a street that we don´t usually use, and we ran into Hno Vicente riding his bike home from work and we asked if he was coming to church and he said yes! I know that Hermana Fuentes was inspired and it was awesome to see him at church with his whole family. He also brought one of his less active daughters, so it was great to see so much of the family there.
We have been working hard with our rescadados and menos activos and they are really progressing! It is great to meet the less actives and try to help them see the light of the gospel in their lives and the happiness in their families when they start coming to church again! I have really seen the gospel change families and I know this is why the Gospel is so focused on the families! I know that this is such a special message that we are here sharing with these people and my love for the gospel and the people here grows more and more each day! I am understanding more and more spanish and I love it because I can try to help the people and offer advice or bear testimony of a truth that can help them in their lives. I know this is a special work and I love being here in Daule with the great people here!
So a couple random and fun things. We got to go visit a lady that we rescued that just had a baby! it was 2 days old when we saw him and he is sooo cute! I wanted to hold him so bad… but I just touched his hand instead! Almost as good… 🙂 We also had a family give us toast and hot chocolate last night and i thought i was sitting in the kitchen at Gma and Gpa Griffeth´s house! What a fun tradition! We also sang a christmas carrol with them and that was super fun!! We also have a new investigator named Emilia. She is probably 60 years old and sometimes I wonder if she is all there but she is super nice and she always gets a huge smile on her face when she sees us. The only slightly downside is that her house reminds me of the haunted mill… 🙂 it is dark and has kind of an old smell, but the best part is that she has all these dolls and some are missing eyes and heads and I just have to laugh because otherwise I might get scared! But she is doing awesome and she loves what we are teaching her! She wasn´t able to come to church yesterday and she was like hugging me and kissing my cheeks and apologizing. She will come next week though! I know it!
I want you all to know how much I love being a missionary! I know that this work is so important! I am so grateful to be here learning about these people and especially the gospel! My testimony is strengthened everyday that I am here and I love having this opportunity to bear testimony of these truths everyday! I know that baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost are so important and that we can feel that specail spirit every week when we partake of the Sacrament! I love you all and hope you all have a great and successful week!!! I love you all!
All my love, Hermana Hawkes

Hello my awesome family!

Hello my awesome family!!! How are you all doing this week? I love getting to read all about what you are all doing and all the fun you`re having! We have the best family in the world! Thank you all for making mom and dad`s birthdays so much fun and it was awesome to hear about them!! Dad thank you for all the awesome advice and updates! I have always loved getting pep talks from you! Mom I`m sorry you have to get surgery on your knee but you are one of the strongest people I know and I know you will do great! I will be praying for you soooo hard!! Josh ahaha I can just imagine your excitement for Christmas already!!! Also, thank you so much for the story! I could feel the spirit so strong as i was sitting here reading it! Jared I can`t wait to see pictures of your house and that`s so awesome that you got your deer!! thank you for the pictures! Whit I love your cute table and I was laughing at your mice stories… good luck! Kristie, Congrats on your second time ever throwing up! 😉 I hope that`s the last time in your life!! Also it`s fun to hear that you love basketball! Good luck in your first game! I will be so excited to hear! Garr! I want you to know that I woke up on Friday morning thinking about your game and I actually prayed that you guys would win… I don`t know if that`s really appropriate to pray for but I did! I`m sorry you guys didn`t win but like dad always says let that fuel you into basketball!! And I hope that your foot is getting better! be careful and don`t trip like you did on your crutches when we were playing basketball at the high school together! 😉
This has been a great week! We finished the teachings of Dimas and Darlin and they had their interviews for baptism yesterday! We are so excited to be planning for that this week and I look forward to Saturday! Their mom was also a less active and she had her interview and is now rescued! It has been awesome to see their progress as a family and their excitement to do the right things and to come to church! When Dimas and Darlin saw us at church they ran to us yelling HI and wanted to tell us everything we hadn`t heard since the day before! It is great to see progress in families.
We also taught Joselyn again this week, but she is having problems setting a date to be married so we haven`t been working with her as much. We did go and teach a lesson about faith and we didn`t even bring up marriage and she said that she needs to have faith to accomplish the commandments and something she can do is to get married, so we set a date with her to talk to her partner about getting married and we have been praying that they will get everything worked out! We had taught her about the law of chastity, and the next few days we passed by and she had taken out her extra earring that she had, so I know she has a desire to change and do the things that are right!!
We also found a new investigator this week named Vicente. He is 81 years old and almost all of his family is members, but he never really was interested. We visited him and he was really interested, so we went back and one of the first things he brought up in the lesson was that in order to repent of his sins he needs to be baptized, so we switched lesson plans and taught him lesson 3 and invited him to be baptized on the 5th of December and he accepted! At the end of the lesson when we were verifying with him what he needs to do he said I need to pray and ask for forgiveness of my sins and then be baptized. He is really solid and I am excited to continue teaching and helping him for his goal to be baptized.
We also had two people have their interviews and are now rescued! They have been great to work with and we have seen a difference in them! They have goals to work on and are animated and ready to continue working towards these goals!
So we had a super fun week! I will hit some of the highlights! We made tamales Hna Fuentes and I Gueatemalan style and that was super fun! We got to go to Guayaquil on thursday because she had a leadership meeting and I got to go contacting in Guayaquil! I t is such a beautiful city and it was fun to be there! Probably the most stressful day of my whole week was yesterday! We got to church and Sacrament meeting was literally going to start in 5 minutes and they came and said that the first talk didn`t show up, and my companion just gave a talk like 2 weeks ago… so it was my turn! It was a talk on service so it wasn`t too hard, but between the stress of that, and playing 4 hymns on the piano that I had never even heard, I was a basket case by the end of sacrament meeting, but it all went well!
I can truly see the hand of the Lord in the things I am doing everyday and I pray that we will be led to the people that truly need our help and want to hear this great message of the gospel! I know that people are being prepared to hear and I pray that we will be in tune with the Spirit enough to listen and follow these prompting to find these people! I am so grateful to be here and I love being here in Daule with Hermana Fuentes! I am learning a lot about the gospel, the people, and about myself, and I am so grateful for all of these blessing that I am receiving!
Thank you all for the pictures and emails and I am so grateful for each and every one of you and pray for you so much!! Please all be careful and remember that I love you all so much!!!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Hola familia

Wow I really do have the best family in the world!! thank you all so much for writing and I tried to send a little message to everyone! Thank you all so much!! Dad I am glad to hear that you are hauling grain and that you had a good birthday! our family traditions are the best!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST MOM IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! I hope that you have a super fun day and know that I will be thinking of you!!!

Ok so I didn’t answer mom´s questions from last week but for p days we usually only have time to write, shop for food, take our clothes to be washed, and  few other small things like look around at the shops. I wasnt to apologize because I know I will be late sending christmas stuff home but I am not in a tourist part and i´m looking for cool authentic stuff to send so just know that it’s coming but late!! we are also about an hour away from the mission home by bus but there are some zones that are 3 hours away so we are lucky!

First, Oliver was confirmed this sunday! The Hermano that confirmed him did such a great job and there was such a special spirit while he was giving the blessing and after! It was awesome to see another child of God take the necessary steps to return to live with our Heavenly Father.
We have also been working with Joselyn a lot this week and she came to church! She is so strong and we passed by her house to make sure she was getting ready and she was ready with her two tiny girls before 8:30 and she told us that she really enjoyed church! She answered questions in the classes and even signed up to feed us missionaries one day this month! She is really good at always reading the scriptures and praying. The big thing that we are working with her on is that she needs to get married and she knows that she does but her partner is the one that is holding her back. But we have a great lesson planned for today to help them both and I´m excited to teach!
We are also working really hard with Darlin and Dimas for their baptism on the 14th! They are always so excited to go to church and answer a ton of questions when we are in the lessons with them! Their mom is a less active and we have also been working with her and she is progressing and doing great!! We have a lot of work to do and a lot to teach them to get them ready for their baptism but have made some good plans to get it all done!
I was also very grateful for the opportunity to fast yesterday! I feel the spirit so strongly when I fast and it was reconfirmed to me how important this work is and that we need to make the most of every single moment. We had some lessons yesterday where the people just wanted to talk, and although we found out a lot about their lives that will help us help them in the lessons, it felt like we were using precious time of the Lord´s and I know that every moment here is precious. I am so grateful to be here in the sector with Hermana Fuentes and our relationship continues to grow which helps the work progress so much! Thank you for this awesome opportunity and for the time that I have to be here. I know this work is so special and I am so happy to be apart of it!

I am also the ward pianist and that is such a special feeling! they asked me to teach piano lessons and I don’t know if I can, but that was a cool thing! I´m sorry this is short, but I love you all so much and I am so grateful for the awesome family that I have!! please know that I love you all and pray for you so many times every day!! all my love!

Love, Hermana Hawkes