Hola from Ecuador

My dear wonderful family,
It was so great to hear from each of you, and like always, I am so grateful for the updates and to hear that you are all safe!! I love reading about your weeks and the cool things you all have to tell me! I honestly receive revelation from reading your emails and am so grateful for each and every one of you!! I am soooo excited to talk to you all on Christmas Eve and hope to hear lots of fun stories and good news! I was also thinking that I would like to know each of your favorite scriptures to share with people here so if you would all be thinking of your favorite scripture that would be awesome!! Good luck in work, family things, games, and the everyday stuff and I hope you are all enjoying this wonderful time of year together! I hope that the Spirit of Christ can fill each of your homes because that is the spirit that will bring the most happiness and joy!! Also to answer a few questions: Jared I have tried peanut soup, but here they put peanut butter (and a ton of it) in the soup… and it was good but definitley not something that I would ask for as a favorite! 🙂 I do however, love the fish as well and they make these ensaladas with beets and cilantro and mmm it is super good! I am writing down all these recipes to make you all someday!!
 It is a wonderful time of year to be here serving and sharing this wonderful message of the gospel and I am so grateful to be a missionary here and now!
This has been a great week! We have been able to work with some great people and were so blessed this week in our finding.
This week I got to go to Guayaquil because Hermana Fuentes had a meeting with all the leaders (she is an Hermana leader) so I got to go out and help the sisters of that area look for their less actives! Wow Guayaquil is sooo gorgeous! It looks like the movies with all the houses stacked on top of each other all the way up the mountain! I didn`t have my camera, but the next time I go I am going to take pictures!!
Last week was a rough week with no investigators, but it really strengthened my testimony that we don`t receive a testimony of things until after the trial of our faith. We had fasted to be able to find new people, and that week we contacted and didn`t have much luck, but the week following, we kept working hard and were blessed to find 5 new investigators! I know that the Lord is watching over us and helping us to find these people, because I know we couldn`t do it without His help and without following the Spirit. Some of these investigators were a family named the Cuenca Family. We found them contacting and they were so accepting! On the first visit they invited us into their house and we were able to teach The Restoration to the mom and also found out that the dad is a less active of 20 plus years! They are really accepting of the things we have to teach and they always have lots of questions! there are 3 kids in the family and the 3 attended church yesterday. The parents need more work and really just need to be touched by the Spirit in a special way, but I know that we can find what they need and that they will progress! They are a great family and we are excited to keep working with them!
Our other investigator is Madelayne. She is an 18 year old girl that is married and has a baby. She is also really interested and always really receptive of the things we teach. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her one and she read all of Joseph Smith`s testimony that night! She was also not able to attend church because she was sick, but we are going to work really hard with her this week, and also we are going to work on getting people to come to church! The members here are doing a great job of going with us to lessons and getting to know our investigators and this will help them a lot!
We were also able to have a Family Home Evening with one of the families in the ward and there ended up being 40 or more people from the ward and also 5 investigators! It was a great night and we watched a church video and then explained the importance of studying the scriptures and then ended with a fun game that really got everyone laughing and talking with each other! It was a great night and another big eye opened to how great and supportive the branch is here!
I love being here in Daule and am so grateful for the experiences I am being blessed with. I know that I am learning things here that I couldn`t learn anywhere else in the world, and that I am learning from the people here as well as Hermana Fuentes! I know I am so blessed to have so much time with a companion that has so much experience and time in the mission and I know that I am learning things from her each and everyday! I also have been studying about charity and love and I know that these are KEY in this work! I know that Heavenly Father will bless us with this love if we really strive to care for all the people around us and want the very best for them in their lives! I am so grateful to be a missionary and pray that I can be an instrument in the Lord`s hands!
 I hope you all have a great week and know that I love you all and pray for you multiple times everyday!! Have a great week and please be safe!
Love, Hermana Hawkes 🙂

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